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[[quoteright:322:[[VideoGame/UltimaVI http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/paladind_6742.jpg]]]]

->''My good blade carves the casques of men,\\
My tough lance thrusteth sure,\\
My strength is as the strength of ten,\\
Because my heart is pure.''
-->-- '''Lord Alfred Tennyson''', "Sir Galahad"

Paladins are warriors [[IncorruptiblePurePureness dedicated to furthering the cause of all that is good]]. Holy crusaders, they combat the forces of evil wherever they are found, and [[WeHelpTheHelpless defend the helpless as much as possible]]. Above all else, paladins are ''[[AlwaysLawfulGood good]]''. An evil paladin is a literal contradiction of terms; a paladin that turns evil [[FallenHero ceases to be a paladin]][[note]]Though in settings with GreyAndGrayMorality, antagonistic paladins may still exist.[[/note]]. As holy warriors, they're almost always associated with TheOrder, which are usually religious, or at least spiritual, in nature. While their Order may be tied to a [[TheChurch specific church]] worshiping a GodOfGood, they are just as often dedicated to a [[SentientCosmicForce more general power]] (frequently [[LightIsGood The Light]]). As such, paladins are frequently {{Church Militant}}s and may have aspects of the WarriorMonk. Paladins are often TheChosenMany, with new paladins just beginning to learn about their powers being found and taught by older, more experienced paladins. When not part of TheOrder (or if their order is disbanded), a paladin will usually be a KnightErrant instead. Their weapon of choice will typically be a long sword (usually with shield) or a hammer (maybe two handed).

Paladins tend to fall in the middle of the SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism. They certainly believe that HumansAreGood, but they tend to deal with most evil by killing it rather than trying to [[HeelFaceTurn redeem it]]. The archetypal paladin is a LawfulGood KnightInShiningArmor for whom RightMakesMight, but this isn't always the case. Though always good, paladins are [[GoodIsNotNice not always nice.]] (And even when they are nice people, underestimating their capacity for violence is still a [[GoodIsNotSoft potentially lethal mistake]].) They may even be a KnightInSourArmor -- but never a WellIntentionedExtremist or a KnightTemplar. When faced with a ToBeLawfulOrGood dilemma, a paladin's best option is to [[ScrewTheRulesImDoingWhatsRight choose to do Good]]. If their order were to lapse from virtue, a ''true'' Paladin would leave, but continue to follow the rules of the uncorrupted order, even if they have to consider themselves the very last member.

A popular CharacterClass in both [[VideoGames digital]] and [[TabletopGames tabletop]] RolePlayingGames, Paladins tend to be MagicKnight variants who focus more on WhiteMagic and defense compared to the MagicKnight's [[BlackMage offensive spell-slinging]] (but can do offense as well with HolyHandGrenade magic). As such, they usually fill the role of [[TheBigGuy the tank]] in groups, though they may be able to function as a CombatMedic as well; when not working with a party, they're usually a MightyGlacier. Paladins in games are usually very effective against evil enemies, particularly TheLegionsOfHell and TheUndead -- they almost always have the ability to use DetectEvil and SmiteEvil against such foes.

TabletopGames have a special relationship with the paladin, particularly ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'', which [[TropeCodifier codified]] many paladin tropes. Paladins typically have strong advantages expressed in game mechanics terms, but their disadvantages (a code of conducts, for example) are much harder to express in the same way. A [[KillerGameMaster Jerkass DMs]] can easily set up a {{Sadistic Choice}} ToBeLawfulOrGood, but such a setup can evolve naturally. ToBeLawfulOrGood is a conflict of core parts of Paladin's beliefs and downplaying it seems unnatural. Some TabletopGames openly suggest that there is no proper answer in this case and the paladin falls regardless of the choice made, others can be more forgiving.

Some games skirt the whole "Paladins must be good" requirement by defining them as ''any'' Magic Knight devoted to a specific religion or deity, in which case the Paladin identifies with the alignment and ideals of their chosen god or philosophy. This is often used to explain Dark Paladins following a [[ReligionOfEvil Religion]] or GodOfEvil, though other options exist as well.

Compare MagicKnight (the more generalized and/or offensively-oriented counterpart to this trope), CombatMedic (who has healing as first priority and combat second), TheParagon (who seeks for others to be as courageous), GoodShepherd (a priest who has the traits of this trope), TheCape (a superhero who has many of the traits of this trope). Contrast with the BlackKnight, who may be this character's EvilCounterpart.

Not related to Creator/CJCherryh's stand-alone book ''Literature/ThePaladin'', nor to the black-clad hero of the Western ''Series/HaveGunWillTravel,'' and has tangential thematic relations to the Videogame ''VideoGame/{{Paladins}}'' (see below for it's entry)



[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* Heathcliff from ''LightNovel/SwordArtOnline'' is known as The Paladin. His skills are [[LightIsGood light based]] and he leads the campaign to free the trapped players from the game. [[spoiler:Subverted: his true identity is none other than [[BigBad Kayaba Akihiko]] himself, and he plans to betray the players and become the final boss at a dramatically-appropriate moment.]]
* ''{{Manga/Hellsing}}''
** Father Alexander Anderson of the Vatican's [[ChurchMilitant Iscariot]] [[VampireHunter Section]] [[KnightTemplar XIII]] is almost always referred to as ''Paladin'' Anderson or [[IHaveManyNames somesuch variant]]. Interestingly, he's a rare HeroAntagonist variant, as the actual protagonist is both an AxCrazy BloodKnight Protestant-enslaved vampire and a SociopathicHero. [[NotSoDifferent Not that they're all that different in that respect.]]
** Also interesting is Section XIII's BadassCreed, which we hear when they show up in force. In it, they self-identify as God's ''assassins'', violating all of the Church's Commandments in the name of Judas Iscariot in the hope both of furthering the Church's cause and damning their souls as a way of passing on to and ''invading'' Hell. They're still probably paladins in comparison to the rest of the Church's militant orders... which says something about those.
* The Royal Knights of the wider ''Franchise/{{Digimon}}'' canon are this, an order of immensely powerful knight Digimon convened to serve the god of the Digital World ([[{{Multiverse}} whoever that may be in that particular universe]]); the order was founded by, appropriately enough, [[Anime/DigimonAdventure02 Imperialdramon]] [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Paladin]] [[Anime/DigimonAdventure02 Mode]]. All members of the Royal Knights are very different from each other and have very different sets of powers, so they fit the related powers tendency only to varying degrees. The most prominent members of the order include [[Anime/DigimonAdventure Omegamon]], [[Anime/DigimonAdventure02 Magnamon]], [[Anime/DigimonTamers Dukemon]], [[Anime/DigimonFrontier Dynasmon and LordKnightmon]].
* In ''Manga/BlueExorcist'' only the most badass exorcists are given the title of Paladin. The previous one was Rin and Yukio's foster father. The current one is a [[{{Jerkass}} dick]].

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Priam Agrivar from [[Creator/DCComics DC]]'s ''Advanced Dungeons & Dragons'' and ''Forgotten Realms'' titles back in the 80s, one of the better fleshed-out examples of the classic D&D-style (AD&D 2nd Edition in particular) paladin -- complete with all-too-human failings (like lingering alcoholism) and doubts but ultimately the determination to prove himself worthy as well. Interestingly, he seems to owe formal allegiance to no specific faith or other organization, or if he does, it's never shown; he always appears as essentially his own man trying to do good as best he understands it, and his powers seem to work well enough regardless.
* ''ComicBook/BlackMoonChronicles'': Lord Parsifal, the Grand Master of the Knights of Justice, is a completely devout and heroic warrior who fights on the emperor's side in various wars, though he specifies that he serves God alone. His counterpart Frater Sinister of the Knights of Light is both corrupt and [[TheStarscream ambitious]].

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* Balian of Ibelin in the ''FanFic/ChanceEncounter'' series pretty much is this trope. Considering one of his nicknames is "The Perfect Knight" and going down to hell to fight the Devil for the soul of his dead wife (while he does get smashed around by Satan with ease, he is assisted by the [[spoiler:recently canonized by the Archangel Gabriel Prince Hector of Troy.]] Yes it is very strange) this is hardly surprising. He is also something of a Woobie, as it is pretty much guaranteed that he will be maimed at least once every 4-6 chapters. As well as being [[spoiler:possessed by a dark version of himself]].
* Sloane from the Fanfic/TaleOfSolaron, is a paladin of Pelor, and plays it straight, being honorable and brave in the face of danger, though it often blinds him to subtleties and complicated motivations.
* In Allronix's ''Series/TinMan'' fanfic, the Tin Men themselves are of this trope, created by Empress Dorothy to honor the original Tin Man, [[Literature/TheWonderfulWizardOfOz Nick Chopper]], sworn to serve and protect the citizens of Oz "from the greatest monarch to the smallest insect."
* In ''Fanfic/TheKeysStandAlone: The Soft World'', a line in the mysterious poem the four find when they first return to C'hou mentions “the Paladins, rightfully so.” John hopes the line doesn't refer to themselves! (It turns out to refer to the Guardians.)
* In the fanfic [[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/9203082/1/Harry-Potter-and-the-Knight-of-the-Radiant-Heart Harry Potter and the Knight of the Radiant Heart]] by Raven 3182, the paladin Keldorn Firecam from ''VideoGame/BaldursGateII'' is inserted into the ''Literature/HarryPotter'' story. [[spoiler:He goes on to train Harry to be a paladin as well.]]

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* In ''Franchise/StarWars'', Jedi knights are {{Samurai}} Taoist Buddhist SpacePolice keepers of the peace [-[[RecycledINSPACE IN SPACE!]]-] The best example is wise Master Yoda. They also share the trait that if they go bad they go immediately from IncorruptiblePurePureness to ForTheEvulz.
* ''Film/{{Tron}}'': Alan hadn't ''intended'' to [[CreatingLifeIsAwesome create a de-facto holy warrior]] who fights for the oppressed User-believers, but his creation turned out that way. [[spoiler: Too bad about [[ReforgedIntoAMinion the sequel...]]]]

* The TropeNamer is, of course, the Paladins or "Twelve Peers", the foremost Christian warriors of the court of Charlemagne. They were first described in ''Literature/TheSongOfRoland'', and the eponymous Roland[[note]] Roland was loosely based on Ruotland, a count in charge of the Breton March (i. e. the Frankish province bordering on Brittany) who was killed in the battle of Roncevalles.[[/note]] was said to have eventually become the leader of the Paladins. As the number of Paladins was fixed at twelve (possibly in analogy to the Twelve Apostles or the Twelve Tribes of Israel), their names tend to vary from work to work within the ''matière de France'' as different authors would obviously want to include their pet character in the number.
* The ''matière de Bretagne'' centring on {{King Arthur}} for a long time evolved in competition with the ''matière de France''[[note]] Arthurian works were often written for or sponsored by supporters of the Norman and Plantagenet kings of England, who were seen as Arthur's successors, while their French Capetian rivals were descended from Charlemagne.[[/note]], so many scholars believe that the Knights of the Round Table were an attempt to outdo the Twelve Peers. They certainly soon did this as far as their numbers were concerned; not being bound by the Paladins' Rule of Twelve, the number of active Knights of the Round Table at one point rose to 1600 (in the 13th century ''Brut'' by Layamon).
* Another similar grouping exists in Russian ''byliny'' about the ''druzhina'' of Prince Vladimir of Kiev, who defend Holy Russia against the [[AnachronismStew pagan Tatars]]. The most famous member of these ''bogaryri'' is Film/IlyaMuromets.
* The main character of ''Literature/TheDeedOfPaksenarrion'' eventually becomes one. The author's intention behind that character was to be LawfulGood without being LawfulStupid.
* The three Knights of the Cross in ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'' are paladins, complete with holy swords. Each of which has had a nail from the crucifiction of Jesus incorporated into it and respectively reflects the ideals of Faith, Hope, and Love. Taking up one of the Swords of the Cross means accepting a MissionFromGod to go where they are most needed and help those who need to be saved. The Mission isn't always a lifetime commitment. Many Knights are one-offs. They are the Right Person in the Right Place at the Right Time and are able to wield the Sword to its full power.[[note]]One temporary Knight was a mother who is also a monster. In the past when trying grab the Sword of Faith so it didn't fall away from the hero, despite her good intentions, was shocked by the Sword and left her arm numb for a month. Later, when on a quest to save her daughter, the Sword of Love permits her touching it after she swears to use it only this time and not hurt innocents.[[/note]] Michael Carpenter, the most often-seen Knight in the series, even wears plate armor specifically because it fits the classic paladin style (though his armor is [[BulletProofVest reinforced with kevlar]]). They're also notable for being one of the most positive portrayals of paladins in all of fiction, being good, honest, kind-hearted people who don't force their beliefs on others and help anyone who truly needs it[[note]]In fact, Michael is the only devout Christian of the three; Sanya is a FlatEarthAtheist, while Shiro was converted because he thought the offer to "meet the King" meant a chance to meet Music/ElvisPresley, the latest Knight is Jewish[[/note]]. In fact, they're even more idealistic than the trope description would suggest -- their primary mission is dealing with a group of {{Fallen Angel}}s possession humans -- to ''[[HeelFaceTurn redeem]]'' them, not destroy them. Despite that being on paper an ImpossibleTask, it has been successful at times; at least once to the point one of the ''current knights'' got his start via HeelFaceTurn.
* Holger Carlson, who traveled into the Matter of France and [[YouWillBeBeethoven became one of Charlemagne's paladins, Olgier the Dane]], in Creator/PoulAnderson's ''Literature/ThreeHeartsAndThreeLions'', was an inspiration for the D&D character class.
* The various holy Champions in ''Literature/TheWarGods'' series by Creator/DavidWeber take upon various aspects of this archetype including the ChurchMilitant, LawfulGood (for the protagonist and his fellows) and even the classic HealingHands.
* The Church Knights from ''Literature/TheElenium'' by Creator/DavidEddings are Paladins, though it can be hard to see through their worldly tarnish on the Pandion, Genidian and Alcione knights. Cyrinic Knights are closest to the ideal, being the most religious and having shiny armour to boot. The manner of their [[spoiler:Preceptor Abriel's death -- charging a 300+ foot monster --]] is very Paladin.
* The Knights of Solomnia are the closest equivalent in ''{{Literature/Dragonlance}}'' and their Dungeons and Dragons tie-ins provide rules that essentially make this character a paladin equivalent (though there are different orders with different emphases in terms up fighting skill, leadership and divine power).
* The protagonists of ''{{Literature/Domina}}'' are referred to as Paladins, specifically because it seems like it will "sell." Derek is closest in powerset; he's TheHero and a BarrierWarrior.
* ''Literature/AdventureHunters'': Artorius used to be one of these but he was branded with the Sigil of Disgrace for a mysterious reason. Now he works as a treasure hunter.
* The Knights Radiant of ''Literature/TheStormlightArchive'' are powerful MagicKnight warriors who literally get their powers by behaving with various flavors of honor (protecting the helpless, being truthful, etc). The Knights as a whole are a BadassArmy, but they're divided into ten separate [[TheOrder Orders]] (explicitly called such in-universe), each with different powers. They [[{{Gotterdammerung}} disbanded and disappeared thousands of years before the story begins]], but those with the power of the Radiants [[TheMagicComesBack seem to be appearing again]], which seems likely to lead to [[OrderReborn the reformation of the Knights]].
** The Recreance, the event where the previous orders of the Radiants abandoned their oaths, their Blades, and their Plate, was ultimately caused by [[spoiler: the Radiants learning that their powers had ''destroyed'' the world humanity originally came from.]] In order to avoid the same fate befalling the world, they abandoned their oaths and powers and refused to explain why (lest someone else follow in their wake), condemning them to being named traitors and villains by subsequent generations.
* In ''Literature/ForgingDivinity'', [[spoiler:Lydia is]] secretly a Paladin of Sytira, a goddess of knowledge.
* The eponymous Heralds of the ''Literature/HeraldsOfValdemar'' series are essentially paladins without the religious aspects. They're TheOrder of TheChosenMany, with FunctionalMagic and/or PsychicPowers and 100% guaranteed IncorruptiblePurePureness due to their [[TheChooserOfTheOne Companions]] -- {{Cool Horse}}s with [[SapientSteed human-level intelligence]] that share a [[BondCreature psychic link]] with the Heralds they've Chosen -- and they ''never'' Choose anyone who is less than heroic.
* In ''Literature/TheBalancedSword'', some of the gods of Zarathan have dedicated holy warriors who are granted enhanced abilities by their patron god; the trilogy features the Justiciars, dedicated to Myrionar, God of Justice and Vengeance. A major plot driver is the revelation that the Justiciars have become corrupt and now secretly serve and gain their powers from a demonic patron (who is also apparently managing to fool Myrionar Itself, or at least prevent It from denouncing them and/or smiting them where they stand).
* ''Literature/SpellsSwordsAndStealth'':
** Tim starts out playing a paladin at the start of ''[=NPCs=]'', but is forced to roll a more mundane warrior by the other players so he wouldn't get in the way of their being murderous bastards. Tim gets to play a paladin again in ''Split the Party'' and is a natural at it.
** Thistle finds himself given the offer to become a paladin for his god, Grumble. Thistle is reluctant, given the limitations and requirements that come with the position, but ultimately agrees to save his friends' lives.
** Over the course of ''Split the Party'', [[spoiler:Timuscor, the knight Tim had played during ''[=NPCs=]'']] expresses a desire to be a paladin, but is disheartened to find he lacks the kind of devotion the job requires, since the gods only make paladins of their followers. Before going into the climax of the story, he says a prayer offering himself as a paladin to any god who will take him, and this desire also [[spoiler:spurs his HeroicSacrifice near the end of the book]].
* Pavalo Payam of ''Literature/TheTraitorSonCycle'' is a wielder of a magic sword and a warrior dedicated to the cause of eradicating supernatural threats against humanity on behalf of the Ifriquyan school of magic.
* Played with in ''Literature/RuinOfAngels''. The nation of Camlaan has an order of knights who are nominally these, but it's kind of an open secret that underneath the inspiring gloss of honor and heroism, they're just a tool of the crown's (often exploitative and corrupt) power. One of the protagonists is a Camlaander Knight who genuinely believes in the professed values of her order and is deeply committed to doing her patriotic duty even though she's ''very'' aware of the organization's dark underbelly.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* The protagonist of ''Series/HaveGunWillTravel'' is an example of the personality type, if not the power set. He was a gentleman gunfighter who worked as a problem-solver for disputes of all sorts -- preferably without resorting to violence, but not ashamed to get his hands dirty if he had to. The fact that he [[OnlyKnownByHisNickname goes by the name Paladin]] helps.
* Alluded to/played within an episode of ''Series/{{Bones}}'', where Booth rescues a young boy by gaining his trust with his family code word, which happens to be "Paladin". Booth is sort of a Paladin, only without magic powers.

* Furman University in South Carolina calls its varsity sports teams "the Paladins".

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* The paladin class of ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' is the TropeCodifier of the standard paladin (and the TropeNamer for its signature attacks, DetectEvil and SmiteEvil). As such, ''D&D'' has a ton of paladins, paladin variants, and not-quite-paladins.
** In 2nd Edition, Paladins are designed to be a rare and special character class. This is achieved by giving them the most onerous required stats of the game, most notably a 17 or better in the DumpStat of {{Charisma}} (a measure of physical appearance, leadership skills, and ability to influence others).
** 3e and 3.5 has your standard KnightInShiningArmor paladins as a core class, but sourcebooks eventually added variants such as the Paladin of Freedom (ChaoticGood instead of the Paladin of Justice's LawfulGood), the Greyguard (a paladin PrestigeClass that allowed for moments of IDidWhatIHadToDo by making it much easier to regain one's paladin powers after violating the paladin code of conduct), and the Holy Liberator (ChaoticGood champions of "ScrewTheRulesImDoingWhatsRight"). And aside from all these, there's the [[NeutralGood Sentinel]].
** ''{{TabletopGame/Pathfinder}}'', as a continuation of the TabletopGame/D20System D&D line, also has the classic paladins. They're a bit beefed-up compared to what they were in 3.5. Optional rules give them different versions of [[TheFettered the paladin code]] depending on what god they follow. Speaking of gods, the ''Pathfinder'' setting Golarion has an actual paladin deity: the goddess Iomedae was formerly a high-level paladin herself, who was so LawfulGood in life, she became one of only three mortals to pass the Starstone Test and to ascend to godhood as a divine patron of all paladins and other lawful good warriors.
** Paladins in the 4th Edition of ''Dungeons & Dragons'' do not follow the AlwaysLawfulGood restriction: instead, Paladins are servants of any god, and they follow the tenets laid forth by that god rather than follow an alignment. Paladins in the Essentials line for 4th Edition choose a Virtue (such as Sacrifice and Valor) and have options within that virtue (though Sacrifice Paladins fit the usual AlwaysLawfulGood bill).
** Pretty much all editions of ''Dungeons & Dragons'' also have an [[InvertedTrope inversion]] of the paladin trope; some variation of an "anti-paladin", a mirror image of the paladin that replaces "good" with "evil" and "holy" with "unholy". The ''Companion Set'' expansion of the ''Basic Set'' version had the Avenger. 3e had a PrestigeClass called the Blackguard (which could include fallen paladins) as well as the Paladin of Tyranny (LawfulEvil) and the Paladin of Slaughter (ChaoticEvil). ''Pathfinder'' went back to using straight anti-paladins, and 4th edition makes the issue moot by allowing your paladin to be dedicated to any extreme alignment. 5th Edition locks 4ths alignment-freedom, but also adds the Oathbreaker Paladin, an always evil option for Paladins who have forsaken their oath.
** ''TabletopGame/{{Ravenloft}}'' features one fallen paladin as a darklord; Elena Faithhold of Nidalia, whose nature as TheFundamentalist lead her to begin a brutal inquisition/crusade against anyone who didn't worship her patron god Belenus (Celtic sun god) in a monotheistic fashion. Most notable for how she plays IRejectYourReality for horror and tragedy -- for example, refusing to accept that her DetectEvil now detects strong emotions about her, so most of the "evil" people she kills are actually her most loyal and ardent supporters.
* The Holy Knight from [[TabletopGame/D20Modern Urban Arcana]] is basically what happens when you take a Paladin, [[PostModernMagic give him/her a motorbike, a Forced Entry armor, a Riot Shield, and a shock baton]], and remove their need to be Lawful. They do have an EvilCounterpart in the form of the Unholy Knight.
* ''{{TabletopGame/Warhammer 40000}}''
** Either {{deconstructed}}, or DarkerAndEdgier with the Grey Knights chapter of Space Marines. They have loads of powers, skills, and tools to fight daemons, and are [[IncorruptiblePurePureness completely incorruptible]]. However, they are [[ShootTheDog ruthlessly pragmatic]] in their mission to protect the Imperium, enough that they've crossed well into KnightTemplar territory. They have a habit of killing innocent witnesses "for their own protection". Given the GrimDark CrapsackWorld that ''40k'' is, where a FateWorseThanDeath could be in store just for ''seeing'' [[TheCorruption Chaos]], they still manage to remain [[IDidWhatIHadToDo somewhat sympathetic]].
** The Space Marines in general arguably have this flavour if seen [[AlternateCharacterInterpretation sympathetically]], with their existence being militaristic and fighting in the most important warzones where needed, and generally their devotion to the cause of the Emperor and the Imperium (and by that extent, humanity in general) is encouraged to border on religious fanaticism (though also generally ''just'' off the mark from religion). Played dead straight by the Salamanders chapter, who are especially protective of Imperium citizens whenever the Salamanders see them, have their own chapter-personal cult which extols the values of self-reliance, loyalty and self-sacrifice, and mostly utilize flame weapons and [[DropTheHammer Thunder Hammers]] -- fire and hammers being fairly common iconography of ThePaladin.
** As the military arm of the Ecclesiarchy (the Imperial state church), the [[ChurchMilitant Sisters Of Battle]] also fit this role, being fanatically zealous and relentless in stamping out heresy and the enemies of the Emperor.
* In ''TabletopGame/{{Rifts}}'' there are a lot of people that ''seem'' like paladins, but the real deal comes from the Wormwood supplement in the form of the Apok, whose literal class description is incorruptibility. They get absolute immunity to all manner of effects, but in classic ''Rifts'' style, they look like demon hobos. Also interesting because they are required to have been evil and truly repented, rather than being good from the start.
* In ''TabletopGame/WarhammerFantasyRoleplay'', Bretonnian heroes are called Paladins.
** Also, Grail Knights. Bretonnian nobles in general have a cultural obsession with becoming the spirit of this trope that is more than strictly sane.
* Dawn and Zenith caste Solar ''TabletopGame/{{Exalted}}'' tend to put on a lot of the trappings of this trope, such as holy light and golden armour...as for how well they actually embody it, that's a matter of individual choice and the nature of one's [[HeroicBSOD Limit]] [[UnstoppableRage Break]].
* The drink based card game ''{{TabletopGame/DrunkQuest}}'' has one as a character class. She likes [[{{The Need for Mead}} mead.]]
* Paladins in ''TabletopGame/{{Ironclaw}}'' are essentially clerics with a greater focus on combat than spellcasting (career skill bonus to Melee Combat instead of Leadership) and a holy sword instead of a staff.
* Surprisingly, Devils from TabletopGame/DemontheFallen would probably be the closest to the Paladin equivalent in TabletopGame/OldWorldOfDarkness. When they aren't Evil Overlords out to conquer the universe, they tend to be literally shining warriors of honor and virtue, if a touch jaded. Even when they ''do'' go bad they still usually retain their sense of honor and duty. That duty just tends not to be to help humanity anymore.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Anima Beyond Fantasy}}'' features both paladins and dark paladins, based on ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'' ones[[note]]For example in both cases rudimentary magic use as well as summoning and unsummoning abilities if decided so[[/note]]. They're, however, just character archetypes (the paladin someone good at leadership and more oriented to tank, and the dark paladin someone who instead coerces/persuades others and is more offensive), and nothing stops someone of playing a dark paladin who behaves like a D&D paladin, or a paladin who is totally opposite to the archetypical one.
* Basilean elites in ''TabletopGame/KingsOfWar'' include the Paladin Knights (also including Paladin Infantry) and the High Paladin hero unit, who goes so far as to have healing magic, although given his Crushing Strength and Thunderous Charge rules you may not actually get to use it. Basileans are very much a Good-aligned human army.
* A character in ''TabletopGame/{{Pendragon}}'' can aspire to be a Religious Knight by raising the traits associated with his particular religion to famous levels. That nets him some subtle advantages from divine favour, as well as a nice bit of extra Glory per year.
* ''TabletopGame/RocketAge'''s Order of the Sacred Hamaxe, a Martian crusading order, might be the most heroic faction in the setting, protecting innocents, fighting dangerous animals and stopping evil organizations at every turn. The have a strong code of honour and welcome any Martian caste into their order, an amazing thing to do on Mars.
* In the ''TabletopGame/InNomine'' universe, the Malakim are angels that behave as Heaven's own paladin. They sense honor in others. They all must take at least four vows, two of which are common to all of them: they may not allow evil to live unless specifically told to show mercy, and they cannot surrender to Hell. [[IncorruptiblePurePureness Unique]] among angels, they cannot Fall and become demons.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''Franchise/FinalFantasy''
** The Fighter/Knight class in the original ''[[VideoGame/FinalFantasyI Final Fantasy]]'' plays closer to a paladin than a true knight, as once the Fighter class is upgraded to a Knight they have the ability to use low-level WhiteMagic.
** Cecil in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIV'', once he casts off his Dark Knight mantle, loses his CastFromHitPoints offensive magic and becomes a Paladin LightningBruiser with [[CombatMedic healing magic]]. The DS remake makes him even more of a tank, with the ([[GameBreaker passive!]]) ability to draw attacks to him and [[CounterAttack counter]]. Unusually for the archetype, he can also equip bows.
** Beatrix from ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIX''. Each character in the game represents a class from the previous games and Beatrix, while she is never outright called one, she can use White Magic and the equipment of a paladin. She actually starts out as a villain in the game and a HopelessBossFight, but over the course of the game [[spoiler: she begins to have doubts about her queen and eventually joins the heroes' side as an ally.]]
** While in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX'' all the "warriors" (Tidus, Wakka, Auron, Kimarhi) are all capable of going down this route depending on how you use the sphere grid, Tidus is the most oriented to becoming a Paladin. His sphere grid intersects with [[WhiteMage Yuna's]] early on, allowing him to learn healing and holy magic. He's got a bunch of support magic on his own Sphere Grid. Give him a weapon with Piercing and he can hit like a ton of bricks on just about any non-magical mook in the game.
** Paladins in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXI'' are an advanced job class designed to be the designated [[StoneWall tank]]. They also have limited access to healing, protective, and holy spells, along with abilities that specifically weaken the undead. The order was founded by the [[OurElvesAreBetter Elvaan]], the setting's most religious race.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIIRevenantWings'' gave [[KnightInShiningArmor Basch]] protective spells and Light-themed attacks. The mission that unlocks his LimitBreak forces him to face a hoard of undead.
** Paladins in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIV'' are a specialized upgrade to the Gladiator class. They are once again a designated tank class with limited access to healing magic. In terms of lore, they originated as the personal bodyguard of the sultan of Ul'dah, hence their alternate title of Sultansworn.
** The Paladin class is used by human units in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyTacticsAdvance'' and ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyTacticsA2''. The class has two abilities that dish out Holy damage to enemies, but the rest of the skills involve healing allies of injuries and ailments, protecting them from enemy attacks, and convincing enemies to leave the battle. It is worth noting that the title "Paladin" only seems to describe the general ''skillset'' of the class, and not the ''personality'', as there are at least a couple of missions in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyTacticsAdvance'' in which you fight a bad guy whose job is Paladin.
** Played as straight as possible with OptionalPartyMember [[IncorruptiblePurePureness Frimelda Lotice]] in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyTacticsA2''. Not even [[spoiler:dying and being revived as a zombie]] can stop her from being good.
** Paladins exist in the original ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyTactics'', too, though [[CallARabbitASmeerp not by name]]. They include Agrias Oaks (Holy Knight), Meliadoul Tengille (Templar Knight), and of course, Cidolfus [[GameBreaker "Thunder God Cid"]] Orlandeau (Sword Saint). In a twist, all of the abilities they gain from being Holy Knights are purely offensive in nature, though you can reclass them as White Mages to pick up the defensive side of this trope as a secondary skillset; Agrias has already started to do so when she joins.
** Had Ramza not abandoned his knighthood in the prologue of the series, he would likely have become the most exemplar of Ivalice's warrior elite. His ability to inspire others, alongside his own formidable fighting skill would have placed him on the path to becoming the next Heavenly Knight, like his father. In it's own way, the game creates an amazing inversion, that shows that being a TRUE Paladin has nothing to do with devastating combat skill, and everything to do with placing the needs of others before ones self and being willing to sacrifice everything for the good of the realm, which Ramza always does without hesitation. He even strikes down the leader of the demonic horde with the holy knight sword Ragnarok, a weapon which can usually only be held by true knights! Skillset or no, Ramza is a Paladin where it counts, in deed and in action. Balbanes would be proud.
* ''VideoGame/{{Warcraft}}'' paladins are the TropeCodifier for good but not LawfulGood paladins that follow "the Light" instead of a specific deity. They also tend to retain their powers as long as ''they'' think they're doing good, which can lead to some [[KnightTemplar unpleasant]] [[WellIntentionedExtremist things]]. Originally, they were members of TheOrder of the Silver Hand, until said order got decimated after the fall of Lordaeron. They later served the Argent Crusade, and their respective factions, the Alliance or Horde in general.
** The ''Warcraft III'' paladins are defensive/supportive hero units which supported their allies through healing, and armor-boosting aura, and a mass resurrection ability. They also had the ability to personally become completely invincible for short periods of time and their healing spell could [[ReviveKillsZombie heavily damage enemy undead]] units and most demons.
** The ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'' paladin is a melee class with healing and auras, with specs that allow them to be a dedicated [[StoneWall shield-bearing guardian type]] (Protection), a CombatMedic (Holy), or a more light-focused Magic Knight (Retribution). One of the signature abilities of the Paladin class is Divine Shield, which makes the paladin totally immune to all damage for 6 seconds.[[note]]Ironically, Divine Shield also allows the paladin to be a craven coward if he so chooses. Normally, a character cannot use his Hearthstone to teleport out of combat, because it has a 10 second casting time and any damage taken while casting the Hearthstone interrupts it. But a paladin with the Glyph of the Righteous Retreat can cast his Hearthstone in 5 seconds while Divine Shield -- which prevents the Hearthstone from being interrupted -- is active. Since the visual effect for Divine Shield resembles a bubble around the paladin, this maneuver is known as the Bubble Hearth.[[/note]] The class is available to humans, dwarves, blood elves, and -- as of ''Cataclysm'' -- any race with hooves and a tail. Since the game's launch, it has played around a lot with the concept of paladins and how they achieve their powers.
*** First there was the Scarlet Crusade, a group of highly racist and paranoid human paladins who thought any non-human race was infected by the undead taint, along with any human who wasn't a member of their ranks. Despite being insane and clearly not doing the Light's work, they maintained their power because they ''believed'' they were, as mentioned above.
*** In ''The Burning Crusade'', the Blood Elves developed their own sect of paladins called the Blood Knights. Unlike any of the above-mentioned paladins, the Blood Knights stole their power directly from a powerful being of Light called a naaru. Their attitude was initially haughty and self-important, taking pride in their ability to bend the Light to their will, with some Blood Knights even saying they are 'true' paladins compared to the Alliance paladins. However, the Blood Knights eventually had the source of their power taken away from them, and they turned to the naaru of Shattrath for help. They pledged themselves to help the naaru during the assault on the Sunwell, and after it was re-invigorated by the holy energies of the very same naaru they had originally captured, they started drawing their power from the Sunwell itself. It has been implied they are since heading down a path of Light worship much more akin to traditional Alliance paladins.
*** In ''Cataclysm'', taurens began their own sect of paladins called Sunwalkers, who draw their power from the sun god An'she, in the same way the night elves draw power from the moon goddess Elune. Despite being granted similar powers to paladins, however, it's implied the source of their power isn't drawn from the Light in the same way it is for other paladins. Rather, they embody the power of the sun and represent a kind of exemplar of their people, much like how human paladins embody the power of the Light are exemplars of their own.
*** In ''Warlords of Draenor'', the raid boss Tyrant Velhari was designed as a ShadowArchetype to the paladin player class, drawing her power from the fel magic of the Burning Legion and employing several debuffs which absorb or prevent healing as well as auras which harm the party. Each of her three phases is patterned after one of the three paladin specs.
* ''VideoGame/{{Diablo}}'' series:
** ''VideoGame/DiabloII'' has the Paladin as one of the selectable classes. He left the CorruptChurch of Zakarum and seeks to destroy the demons responsible for its corruption. '''III''' makes it clear there are many Paladins of Zakarum that remain with the church and have become far more in-name-only individuals.
** The Templars of the Templar order from ''VideoGame/DiabloIII'' also qualify as paladins, but they take a more KnightTemplar-ish stance because of their [[spoiler:brainwashing by the order]]. Kormac, the Templar who accompanies you, is quite fervent about protecting the innocent, but he's not forgiving of betrayers of the order [[spoiler:and even less forgiving about betrayal by the order itself]].
** As do the Crusaders of the ''Reaper of Souls'' expansion, who are seeking to purify and restore the Zakarum faith to its former glory. The conceptual similarities between the Crusaders and Blizzard's paladins of ''{{VideoGame/Warcraft}}'' led to them making the Crusader character Johanna riff on Uther (the Warcraft Paladin) in ''VideoGame/HeroesOfTheStorm''.
* ''VideoGame/HeroesOfTheStorm'', starring characters [[MassiveMultiplayerCrossover drawn from each Blizzard universe]], has characters who fill the archetype. Uther the Lightbringer, the first paladin in the Warcraft series, is a tanky Support hero who keeps his team alive while standing as a bulwark himself.
* Leona from ''VideoGame/LeagueOfLegends'' is the head of an order of these called The Solari, and uses ThePowerOfTheSun as one of the game's most popular tank/support champions. She is one of the most unambiguously good champions in the entire cast, unlike more KnightTemplar warriors of justice like [[OurAngelsAreDifferent Kayle]]. She wants nothing more than to protect others and honor the glory of the sun, spreading its light and guidance to all.
** Taric, the Gem Knight, is not too far behind. While Leona is out in front making everyone else give way, Taric has always got one eye on his laning partners, boosting their stats, restoring their health, and using his stunning gems to stop their attackers or set up victims for an easy kill.
* The Paladins of ''VideoGame/BattleForWesnoth'' are WarriorMonk types who, like the White Mages of the setting, serve the philosophy of good itself, with no religious connotations. They start out as regular Horsemen who later level-up to Knights, and can then choose to either maximize their combat power by becoming Grand Knights or to acquire basic healing skills and SmiteEvil abilities to become Paladins. While they are not as strong in melee as the Grand Knights, and not as good healers as White Mages, they are fast, can still very hard with their lance charges, and have 'arcane' anti-magic damage and resistances that make them very good at fighting the undead.
* The Paladin tank of ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquerGenerals'' has the personality (no surprise considering that the USA faction is LawfulGood in this game) and has the ability to tank missile shots with a defensive laser.
* The Paladin class in ''VideoGame/DragonQuestIX'' plays like a typical paladin would: high defense, healing magic, and abilities that focus on protecting the innocent. Fully upgrade a Paladin and get their shield level to 40, and you have an unstoppable attack-blocking machine.
* ''VideoGame/DragonQuestVI'': The Paladin class is unlocked after max ranks in Priest and Martial Artist. They have a chance to deal instant death with normal attacks, learn the usual blocking spells like [[GoThroughMe Selflessness and Forbearance]] along with the awesome Thin Air, a 0 MP hit-everything high damage skill that is ThatOneAttack when used by enemies.
* Creator/BioWare's ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' games usually have some paladins in them, along with taking it as a character class:
** ''VideoGame/BaldursGate'': You can take Ajantis into your party, but given the games limited [=NPC=] interactions, he doesn't have anything to say.
** ''VideoGame/BaldursGateII'': There's [[BadassGrandpa Keldorn]] and [[TheOrder the Order of the Radiant Heart]], as well as the [[IWantToBeARealMan squire]] [[SmallNameBigEgo Anomen]] (who is technically a fighter/cleric dual-class, but aspires towards the paladin's role and attitude). There are also a group of fallen paladins who got kicked out of the order and are now common criminals. Meanwhile, Mazzy Fentan can't be a paladin because the second edition rules didn't allow it for halflings yet... ''but'' she's a LawfulGood, knightly servant of her deity who gives her special powers, so basically it's just a matter of terminology and minor differences in special abilities, and of her being bothered that she's not official.
*** The PlayerCharacter can also be one, with the option to join TheOrder after successfully completing a series of quests. S/he and Keldorn are the only two playable characters who can wield [[InfinityPlusOneSword Carsomyr, the Holy Avenger.]] Comes in four distinct flavors: the standard paladin (with TurnUndead, DetectEvil, saving throw bonuses, and the ability to wield any weapon); the [[KnightInShiningArmor Cavalier]] (no ranged weapons, but has special resistances and bonuses against demons and dragons); the [[MageKiller Inquisitor]] (trades in standard features for powerful AntiMagic), and the [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Undead Hunter]] (special bonuses against undead). Of course, those bonuses are conditional upon maintaining a decent Reputation and upholding NeverHurtAnInnocent.
** ''VideoGame/NeverwinterNights'': Aribeth is one of the major [=NPCs=] in the game. [[spoiler: And becomes an Anti-Paladin halfway through the story.]]
** ''VideoGame/NeverwinterNights2'' (though actually developed by Obsidian): Casavir stands out from most paladins by placing a much higher emphasis on Good instead of Order. When his superiors and fellow knights were unwilling to take action, he left and became the leader of a guerrilla vigilante band that fights marauding orcs.
** ''VideoGame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublic'': Being a Star Wars game, it has a lot of Jedi, which are pretty much [[RecycledInSpace Space Paladins]]. [[spoiler: And like in ''Neverwinter Nights'', poster girl Jedi Bastila will fall to the Dark Side, but can be saved.]] Of course, ''VideoGame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublicII'' thoroughly deconstructs this vision of the Jedi along with everything else about the ''Star Wars'' universe. The trend is continued with the Jedi Knight class in ''VideoGame/StarWarsTheOldRepublic''. The other Jedi class is more like a priest with magic powers than a Paladin.
* ''VideoGame/ADanceWithRogues'', a ''NWN'' mod, deconstructs paladinhood with the character of Christiano: a paladin by class, he is a {{Jerkass}} who adheres to the ''letter'' of the LawfulGood CodeOfHonour, but not its spirit. He would never, for example, actually force himself onto a woman, but will gladly pressure her into having sex as long as she does not say "No" loud and clear--and it doesn't hinder him in the slightest that he is already in a relationship with another woman, as long as the latter is too insecure about herself to actually call him out on cheating. Towards the end of the game, [[spoiler:a possible reconstruction occurs: Christiano finally gets [[LaserGuidedKarma what he had coming]] and goes to hell ''in a woman's body'' to be abused and raped for the rest of his/her existence (if you [[VideoGameCrueltyPotential leave him there]])]].
* ''Franchise/DragonAge'' has the Grey Wardens, who are very paladin-like in flavor, but mostly in the backstory. Wardens aren't locked into any given mechanical build or into any moral alignment, as long as they are willing to fight the darkspawn. It's impossible to be cast down, though: once you're a Warden, you're InItForLife.
** More fitting the classic Paladin role are the Templars, who hunt down demons and errant, usually evil, mages and are associated to the Chantry. However, Templars are rather un-paladin-y in that they're sadly prone to becoming {{Knight Templar}}s and running into LightIsNotGood, and often invoke GoodIsNotNice due to the game's CrapsackWorld.
** Alistair, being both a Grey Warden and an ex-Templar with tank combat abilities, anti-magic, and (eventually) SmiteEvil, is the game's best example of the trope; he manages to combine Light, Good, and (mostly) Nice, though he's certainly willing to ShootTheDog if you harden his heart during his personal sub-quest.
** The third game in the series has Cassandra Pentaghast as a playable party member. She's a [[LuckilyMyShieldWillProtectMe sword'n'board]] Warrior class, later gets the [[AntiMagic Templar]] specialization, was formerly a [[InternalAffairs Seeker]] for the Chantry and held to the group's ideals when the rest succumbed to dogmatism in the Mage/Templar War, and [[spoiler: (initially) unknowningly is communed with a Spirit of Faith]].
* ''VideoGame/LunarEternalBlue'': Leo, who's basically a cop. Once he joins your party, he proves himself to be an irregular paladin due to his propensity for Earth-based magic.
* ''VideoGame/TalesOfTheAbyss'' has [[TheAce Van]] [[ChurchMilitant Grants]] as a downplayed example; he's got the skills for it (being a MagicKnight capable of healing as a seventh fonist) and is in service to the Order of Lorelei as the Commandant (read as the head of their military). However as noted below he's not a true example [[spoiler: mostly because he's the BigBad and he wants to ''kill'' the one venerated by the Order, not to mention take down the Score which is key to the beliefs and tenants of the Order of Lorelei.]]
* Flynn in ''VideoGame/TalesOfVesperia'' (especially the [=PS3=] version) is the first true paladin style character in the series. His Paladin qualities are even [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] by the rest of the cast.
* The ''VideoGame/{{Civilization}} IV'' mod ''VideoGame/FallFromHeaven'' has paladins. The player must be good to use them. Given the CrapSackWorld the game is, GoodIsNotNice.
* In ''VideoGame/GroundControl'', Paladin is a title given to any Order of the New Dawn general who is permitted to act with autonomy. The Paladin Magnus is one, and despite not having any divine personal powers, he does have an arsenal of Order troops, aerodynes and [[HoverTank hoverdynes]] at his disposal, and has the personality of a paladin, always choosing the 'good' option over the lawful.
* The Brotherhood of Steel in ''{{VideoGame/Fallout}}'' has a rank called Paladin. Depending upon whether you're talking about the [[VideoGame/{{Fallout1}} West]] [[VideoGame/{{Fallout2}} Coast]] [[VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas Brotherhood]], the [[VideoGame/FalloutTacticsBrotherhoodOfSteel Midwestern Brotherhood]] or the [[VideoGame/{{Fallout3}} Eastern Brotherhood]], a paladin may or may not act out this trope.
* WesternAnimation/MickeyMouse in ''KingdomHearts'' has every aspect of this trope but the title.
* ''VideoGame/{{Mardek}}'' has Vehrn, a Paladin of YALORT[[note]]The god who created Belfan (Mardek's home), Anshar (Rohoph's home), and several other planets.[[/note]]. He is ''devastating'' against the undead, but is [[TheFundamentalist insufferable]] if you allow him to get on the subject of Yalortism.
* The Paladins in ''VideoGame/QuestForGlory'' are the standard version trope; the Paladin mentor Rakeesh even steps away from his rank and tradition to uphold a greater law and his personal code of honor (as the tradition was narrow-minded and would only cause a needless war). The Paladin class is unlocked at the end of ''VideoGame/QuestForGloryII'' if you finish the game with high enough [[KarmaMeter Honor]], and is effectively a Fighter with nice bonuses like HealingHands, protection from evil, and [[MySignificanceSenseIsTingling a danger sense]], plus some optional quests that go above and beyond the main plot. In ''VideoGame/QuestForGloryIII'' he becomes an outright MagicKnight, when unlocking the Heal ability adds the Magic skill[[note]]''VideoGame/QuestForGloryIV'' takes it a step further thanks to a programming oversight: because Paladins have points in the Magic skill, the game hands them '''all''' of the spells a Wizard would have at that point in the game[[/note]].
* [[BigGood Artix]] [[IdiotHero von]] [[ChronicHeroSyndrome Krieger]] from ''VideoGame/AdventureQuest'', ''VideoGame/DragonFable'' and other games of the same company subverts the concept. He has a ''compulsive'' need to smite any undead creatures he comes across, and ''VideoGame/AdventureQuestWorlds'' reveals that [[spoiler:Artix is the Champion of Darkness, and as such cannot use the light-based magic of a Paladin. Instead, he was trained in the ways of the Undead Slayer, whose power and purpose is to free the souls of those enslaved by undeath]]. Paladin is also an available class in pretty much any Artix Entertainment fantasy game, though at least one version is member only.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Rift}}'', paladin is a warrior "[[StoneWall defensive soul]]" with some WhiteMagic abilities. While [[SeekerArchetype Amardis Mathos]] (the original in-universe paladin) certainly fit the usual profile, it's implied that not every paladin does.
* The Paladin class of the ''VideoGame/FireEmblem'' series is more similar to the classical meaning of the term than normally seen. Their paladins have nothing to do with holy warriors and cannot use any sort of magic beyond that afforded by [[FlamingSword magic]] [[SwordBeam weapons]]. Members of the class (allied ones, anyway) are generally upstanding, moral, and loyal knights, but are not holy by any means. The exception is the Jugdral canon, wherein the female variant of Paladins can wield healing staves.
** While not explicitly spelled out as one, however, "Marth" from ''VideoGame/FireEmblemAwakening'' fits the trope rather well on inspection. Parallel Falchion can even be used to heal.
* Paladins in ''VideoGame/AgeOfEmpiresII'' are merely upgraded Heavy Cavalry, the next step up after Knights and Cavaliers.
* There is a Paladin class in the ''VideoGame/{{Ultima}}'' series (at least until the later games where it gets merged into Fighter), which is the class associated with the virtue of Honor. But the Avatar himself also fits most of the criteria for the Paladin trope, and is the page image. Though in the context of the game it's from, the image is [[spoiler:actually a KickTheDog moment for the Avatar]].
* The ''VideoGame/OgreBattle'' series of games commonly have Paladins as a class. Then tend to be among the strongest Melee fighters, with minor healing magic.
* ''VideoGame/DragonNest'' has ThePaladin role filled by... [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin the Paladin class]]. Although he's more of a white mage tank than a white mage DPSer.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Majesty}}'', Paladins become available if you build a Temple to Dauros, God of law and justice. They're AlwaysFemale, strong against undead and have some defensive magic.
* ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls''
** Until the series did away with classes, Paladin (sometimes called "Crusader") was one of the standard pre-made classes with a focus on knightly combat (heavy armor, swords, blunt weapons, shields) and [[WhiteMagic Restoration]] magic.
** ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIIDaggerfall Daggerfall]]'' splits the difference between the spiritual and the questing knight side of paladinhood. It has separate Templar Knightly Orders you can join instead of the corresponding Temple, but it only caters more to paladinhood than simply joining their Temple by the name of the faction[[labelnote:explanation]]As implemented, the Templar Orders have the same ranking system, desired skills, quest-givers and quests as the associated Temple, and rank in a Templar Order gave every right and privilege as holding the same rank in the Temple in question[[/labelnote]]. ''Daggerfall'' also had regional knightly orders, with a suitable set of desired skills for a paladin absent magic, quests that almost all are about confronting evil and doing good, and the title of paladin as the top rank.
** ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIIIMorrowind Morrowind]]'' not only has the Crusader class, but allows you to join both the Tribunal Temple and Imperial Cult in order to serve a religious institution. One of the most damaging weapons in the game is Chrysamere, a massive {{BFS}} which is actually referred to as "The Paladin's Blade". In addition to dealing immense damage, it provides its wielder with defensive bonuses including health restoration and [[AttackReflector Reflect Magic]].
** The ''Knights of the Nine'' expansion to ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIVOblivion Oblivion]]'' is all about being a paladin, complete with [[OrderReborn recreating a lost order]] of knights dedicated to the Divines, and including the Relics of the Crusader, an equipment set that significantly buffs paladin-style skills (defense, healing, and melee combat) and cannot be used if the player has two or more [[KarmaMeter infamy points]].
** ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim Skyrim]]''
*** The [[ChurchMilitant Vigil of Stendarr]] can either be seen as this or as [[KnightTemplar knights templar]], depending on one's point of view. On the one hand, they serve Stendarr, the [[OurGodsAreDifferent Aedric Divine]] of Mercy and Justice, and selflessly protect mortal life from the Daedra and other supernatural threats, like vampires and werewolves. On the other hand, they don't discriminate between the worshipers of the more benevolent Daedra and/or {{Friendly Neighborhood Vampire}}s, (ironically) mercilessly slaughtering them when they are found.
*** The ''Dawnguard'' DLC pits the titular Dawnguard, a CreatureHunterOrganization focusing on [[VampireHunter vampires]], against a deadly coven of vampires.
*** Champions of Meridia, one of the more benevolent Daedric Princes, also tend toward a paladin outlook -- Meridia's quest will give you the unique weapon "Dawnbreaker", which lights undead on fire and has a chance to cause a short-range explosion that sets ''other'' undead on fire, which gives paladin-y players a useful SmiteEvil type weapon.
** From the series backstory comes Pelinal Whitestrake, the [[LongDeadBadass legendary 1st Era hero]] of mankind/[[FantasticRacism racist]] [[TheBerserker berserker]]. He ''technically'' qualifies, having been on a mission from the [[OurGodsAreDifferent Divines]] and wore full plate armor blessed by them. However, as you may guess from that whole "racist berserker" statement, he was ''not'' inherently good. Believed to have been a [[EternalHero Shezarrine]], [[GodInHumanForm physical incarnations]] of the spirit of the [[GodIsDead "dead" creator god]] Lorkhan (known to the Imperials as "[[IHaveManyNames Shezarr]]"), Pelinal came to [[FounderOfTheKingdom St. Alessia]] to serve as her [[PhysicalGod divine champion]] in the war against the [[AbusivePrecursors Ayleids]]. Pelinal would fly into fits of UnstoppableRage (''mostly'' directed at the Ayleids) during which he [[BloodSplatteredWarrior would be stained with their blood]] and [[PaintTheTownRed left so much carnage in his wake]] that Kyne, one of the [[OurGodsAreDifferent Divines]], would have to [[CueTheRain send in her rain]] to cleanse Ayleid forts and village before they could be used by Alessia's forces. [[HistoricalHeroUpgrade He is remembered as a great champion of mankind]], though the nastier parts of his legacy are [[WrittenByTheWinners glossed over, if mentioned at all]], in modern times.
* ''VideoGame/DarkSouls'' has a number of ways to play this archetype. There are two covenants in the game: Way of White and Sunlight Warriors, which have this vibe to them. Generally any player who uses a Faith Build with suitably [[BlingOfWar fancy armor]] will invoke the classic Paladin image. There's also Paladin Leeroy, a character in the game who is a member of the aforementioned Way of White, and wears a suit of gold armor actually called Paladin Armor.
** Solaire of Astora, probably the most iconic character of the franchise, is a Paladin through and through. He leads the Warrior of Sunlight covenant, wears classic templar armor, is summonable as an ally in bossfights, uses light-based miracles such as "Sunlight Spear", and [[spoiler:if he lives to the end, he will sacrifice himself in his own reality, throwing his soul on the First Flame to continue the Age of Fire.]]
* "The Order" in ''Franchise/DevilMayCry 4'' who, unusual for this trope, actually venerate a demon, (specifically, the [[AscendedDemon Legendary Dark Knight Sparda]]). 'tis a shame that [[spoiler:their commanding officers are all either [[WellIntentionedExtremist trying to take over the world to vanquish all the demons]], or humans-turned-demons themselves.]]
* The Protector class from ''VideoGame/EtrianOdyssey'' series (actually called Paladins in the Japanese version). They can equip the heaviest armor and most of their abilities revolve around protecting the rest of their party from harm. Their offensive power is decent at best compared to other classes, being bolstered by a ShieldBash skill, and they possess some basic healing abilities.
** The [[StoneWall Fortress]] class from the fourth game is similar to the Protector, with more offensive versatility.
* ''VideoGame/{{Guild Wars 2}}'' introduced into the Guild Wars universe the class known as the Guardian, which is the spiritual successor to the [[TheLancer Paragon]] and the [[WhiteMage Monk]] and which has elements of the [[SummonMagic Ritualist]] as it is a White Magic Wielding Warrior who can if using the appropriate abilities, summon spiritual weapons to do his bidding. Unlike many Paladins however he does not draw his powers from the divine, as the {{NayTheist}} [[CatFolk Charr]] can use the class.
* In ''Franchise/MassEffect'', the asari have a rough equivalent to the paladin in the form of Justicars. They are WarriorMonk asari who devote their entire lives to living by an unbending - but CrazyPrepared - code of honor that demands they behave like paladins: protecting the innocent and striking down the unjust. The code is also very ruthless: for example, offering her a bribe obligates the Justicar to kill the one trying to bribe her. Opposing a Justicar or obstructing her from completing her task are also grounds for her to respond with violence. The Justicars are also unique in that they stick heavily to asari-controlled space, because asari culture and norms are heavily weighted in their favor; no asari ''ever'' questions a Justicar-sanctioned killing, because in their culture, Justicars are above reproach. The harshness of their life and the unbending nature of their code tends to root out anyone within their order who would abuse their power.
** Third game has the Multi-player Class N7 Paladin, who is arguably the most versatile class in the game. Capable of setting and detonating any tech power in the game, restoring shields with energy drain, and placing a shield that can negate Turret fire, the Paladin often inspires others who know what this class can do, especially against the Geth.
* Dupre the paladin is one of the Avatar's companions in the ''VideoGame/{{Ultima}}'' series. [[spoiler:He makes the HeroicSacrifice to restore the Chaos Serpent in ''VideoGame/UltimaVIIPartII: Serpent Isle'', but is brought back to life in ''Ultima IX'']].
* Some of the VideoGame/MightAndMagic games have a Paladin class. ''VII'' is a bit interesting in that the sign of being a proper Paladin as this trope defines it is ''not'' being called a Paladin -- the Paladin class (and its first promotion, the Crusader class) is morally undefined, and is simply a merging of Knight and Cleric. It is only at the final promotion that the class is defined as dedicated to good (or, if you aligned with the Dark, evil), when you become a Hero (or, for the anti-Paladin, Villain).
* The Golden Paladin that leads the Brotherhood against Dracula in the ActionPrologue of ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaLordsOfShadow2''. He's a badass holy warrior who wears winged golden armor that gives him an angelic appearance. It's too bad that [[spoiler:Gabriel is still God's [[TheChosenOne chosen champion]], so the Paladin's holy powers are useless against him.]]
* In ''Videogame/PillarsOfEternity'', Paladins are individuals that are devoted to causes and are not necessarily dedicated to gods. There are a number of known paladin orders that emphasize certain virtues and personality traits in their paladins: for example, the Goldpact Knights are [[TheStoic stoic and rational]] [[PunchClockHero professional soldier-for-hire]] types, the Kind Wayfarers are a paladin sect dedicated to [[WeHelpTheHelpless protecting travellers and caravans out in the wilds]] and [[HundredPercentHeroismRating generally well-liked by commoners]] for their kindness and compassion, and by contrast the Bleak Walkers are [[TheDreaded dreaded crusaders]] known for their single-minded aggression and [[LeaveNoSurvivors take-no-prisoners policy]]. The resident paladin companion is Pallegina, an Avian godlike who belongs to the Brotherhood of the Five Suns order (not available to a PlayerCharacter paladin), which serves more or less as an elite enforcer arm of the Vailian Republics' ducal council, so her duties are mostly political, diplomatic, and commercial in nature.
* ''VideoGame/FantasyLife'' has the paladin as a [[JobSystem Life]] that the player can use. They're a combat class focusing on defense -- they get bonus vitality and equip a one-handed sword with a shield -- and in story terms the paladins are the CityGuards for [[TheGoodKingdom Castele]] and follow the KnightInShiningArmor ideal... though in reality, with the exception of named characters, the average paladin is well-meaning and loyal, but none-to-bright and somewhat easily frightened.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Drancia}}'', the Paladin is a blonde girl with a HimeCut, her class focuses on offense at the risk of being a GlassCannon, which has 2 fairies escorting her once maxed up melee skills, as well as single used spread shot magic per stage (rechargable via level up).
* In ''VideoGame/{{Paladins}}'' you play as a "Champion" of either the Resistance group, or the Magistrate, one seeks to allow magical crystals to be used by all, while the other seeks to keep order and ban crystals due to their destructive consequences. All of the champions are explicitly magical in some way or another, with some unique skill that they bring to the battlefield.
* In ''VideoGame/GemsOfWar'', the Paladin is one of Whitehelm's units, fitting that region's piety-and-honour theme. However, they appear as opponents in the Whitehelm questline, being sent to arrest (and really, kill) Sapphira. In fact, they're under malign influence.
* Half of all [[OurAngelsAreDifferent Angels]] in ''VideoGame/NexusClash'' are Paladins. They get magic armor, an arsenal of [[HolyHandGrenade Holy Hand Grenades]] (figuratively or literally depending on one's build) and the power to SmiteEvil, but they can lose it all if they don't keep up their moral standing. Given what the god in charge of judging morality [[BlackAndWhiteInsanity is like]] in this universe, the easiest way to do this is through KnightTemplar tendencies.
* ''VideoGame/TalesOfTheDrunkenPaladin'' has Anebriate, who is the titular paladin. Unlike most paladins, he uses lightning-based attacks, heals via junk food summoning spells, and starts the game as a PunchClockHero and a {{Hedonist}}. After some CharacterDevelopment, he's still not the ideal paladin, but he's more willing to do good for its own sake regardless of rewards.
* [[TheAtoner Siegfried Schtauffen]] from ''VideoGame/SoulCalibur'' certainly evokes the image following his HeelFaceTurn in ''III''. By ''IV'', he even gets a suit of crystalline armor to go with his UnholyHolySword to help him fight against [[EvilWeapon Soul Edge]].
* In ''Videogame/ForHonor'', while they don't necessarily possess magical abilities, the Lawbringer and Warden classes reflect the ideals of the usual paladin, particularly with their oaths to defend and protect the weak and to bring justice to wherever they are traveling.
* Crusaders in ''VideoGame/DarkestDungeon'' are religious knights with a particular knack for [[TurnUndead killing undead]] and inspiring their allies (they're one of the few classes with a reliable stress heal, even if it isn't on par with the Jester's).
* ''VideoGame/MasterOfTheMonsterLair'': Owen. He's not involved with any church, but he does hold true to the trope of combining physical combat with healing and anti-evil magic.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'' has a city teeming with paladins, Azure City. They give us the whole range of paladins, from the LawfulStupid KnightTemplar Miko, to the more balanced Hinjo, who while still a bit of a stickler for the rules is [[ReasonableAuthorityFigure willing to hear both sides and try to be as fair as possible]], all the way to resident MemeticBadass O-Chul, who exemplifies "always take the ''good'' [[ToBeLawfulOrGood option]]."
* ''Webcomic/TheWaterPhoenixKing'' has Commander Corva, who fits this trope very well. She's not LawfulStupid by any means, and though often TheQuietOne, a DeadpanSnarker when she does say anything -- fitting, as [[FantasyPantheon her deity is a storm god]] who likes to make bad electricity-related puns.
* ''{{Webcomic/Goblins}}'' also has paladins of various roles. Most of them tend toward LawfulGood or LawfulStupid, but one of them, the infamous dwarven paladin [[KnightTemplar Kore]], is one of the most evil characters of the series, despite having the full range of paladin powers available to him. Big-Ears, by contrast, is a perfect reconstruction of the trope; he chose his class to defend the weak and is prone to TenderTears.
* In ''Webcomic/FamiliarGround'', [[http://www.familiar-ground.com/2009/03/23/respect-his-authoritay/ the horse's human]]
* ''Webcomic/ThePlayersGuideToSISU'' features Veitsi, a Paladin who leans toward the warrior side.
* Eva Wilson from ''Webcomic/OurLittleAdventure''.
* Syranon Glaed in ''Webcomic/HeartCore'', the beloved beastman Paladin from New Ayers who has become a celebrity amongst the people due to his battles against demons.
* ''Webcomic/{{Drowtales}}'' has the [[KnightTemplar Kyorl'solenurn Clan]], whose modus operandi revolves around exterminating the [[OurDemonsAreDifferent Demonic Taint]] from Drow Society. The problem is that a good chunk the population is tainted thanks to the efforts of one group who has infiltrated nearly every clan, including the ruling one, and the local WizardingSchool where they encourage people to undergo the procedure. So they have their work cut out for them.
* Dame Madeline Goodlaw of ''Webcomic/RustyAndCo''. She's [[DumbIsGood not the smartest]] (a RunningGag has her believing that a variety of gardening implements are actually powerful magic weapons), but she's [[IncorruptiblePurePureness a complete sweetheart]]... who is also [[GoodIsNotSoft one of the most dangerous characters in the comic]] (if you're evil).
* Sydney Treuno of ''Webcomic/{{Sombulus}}'' introduces herself as [[http://sombulus.com/comic/27 a Paladin of the Order of Kansen]] on a god-given mission to defend the Myriad Worlds from evil. With her armor, blade, and parkour-esque skills, she is zealously devoted to her god Madir and his angelic followers, the Kanites.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* Crusader, a devoutly faithful superhero sponsored by the Roman Catholic Church, from the ''Roleplay/GlobalGuardiansPBEMUniverse''.
* The original LeeroyJenkins of the Machinima/LeeroyJenkinsVideo was of the Paladin class. On the other hand, Leeroy as actually played was more ChaoticNeutral than LawfulGood.
* UnforgottenRealms: Roamin, the Crime Solving Rank 11 Paladin.
* URealmsLive: There is a Paladin Class, that's more of a combination of this and BattleMage.
** Virgo Sunsword was a devout follower of the light and was the head of the Sunsword Elven Family. Although he was also [[GoodIsNotNice rude to everyone that wasn't his family]] and [[GoodIsNotSoft tended to hurt allies as much as his enemies]]. [[spoiler: Eventually he was killed by Bopen, the Pirate Skeleton King.]]

* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' has its own paladin in the form of Shining Armor. The captain of the royal guard, and the protector of Canterlot with a giant shield bubble powered by his faith in... love, apparently?
* Every incarnation of [[Franchise/{{Transformers}} Optimus Prime]] is this type of character (the exception being ''ComicBook/TransformersShatteredGlass'', which has Megatron instead), but this has never been more obvious in his characterization than in ''WesternAnimation/TransformersPrime''. He even slew a robotic demon (Unicron) in the Season 1 finale.
* The pilots of Voltron in ''WesternAnimation/VoltronLegendaryDefender'' are referred to here as "Paladins"- the Lions themselves are {{Magitek}}, and they choose who pilots them. They also come equipped with [[SwissArmyWeapon bayards]], which provide each Paladin with a personalized weapon, and can activate additional functions when Voltron is formed.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* The word "Paladin" comes from the Palatine Hill in Rome[[note]]also the source of the word "palace"[[/note]], which in ancient times was where the Emperor and his highest officials officiated. Being a ''palatinus'' was about official authority, not about skill as a warrior or devotion to righteousness. After Constantine's victory however, a variation of the term became used by the ''Scholae Palatinae'', who replaced the ancient praetorian guard and became the guards of the Christian Emperors through Late Antiquity and survived in the East until the rise of Alexios Komnenos; as the years passed and Late Antiquity gave way to the Early Middle Ages, the term ''palatinus'' became "paladin"[[note]] although words like "Palatine" and "Palatinate" continued to be used[[/note]], and in chivalric epic poems became applied to Twelve Paladins or Twelve Peers of [[UsefulNotes/{{Charlemagne}} Emperor Charlemagne]]. In the cycle of epics known as the ''matière de la France'' ("matter of France"), which includes the French ''Literature/TheSongOfRoland'', the German ''Willehalm'' by [[Literature/{{Parzival}} Wolfram of Eschenbach]] and the Italian ''Literature/OrlandoFurioso'', where the paladins became idealized symbols of courage and purity.
* The word "paladin" is sometimes used to refer to the top tier of advisors and officials of a ruler. As an example you can look at this 1871 magazine illustration depicting ''[[https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paladin#/media/File:Die_Gartenlaube_%281871%29_b_672.jpg The Three Paladins of the German Emperor]]'' at the victory parade after the [[UsefulNotes/FrancoPrussianWar Franco-German War]]: minister of war Albrecht von Roon, chancellor UsefulNotes/OttoVonBismarck and chief of the general staff Helmuth von Moltke riding ahead of Emperor Wilhelm I. Of course in the real world there is less likelihood of people agreeing on whom to see as an embodiment of chivalry and good; a contemporary Frenchman would have been much more likely to describe the three as a [[TheDragon Dragon]], an EvilChancellor and a DragonInChief.