%% Image selected per Image Pickin' thread: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/posts.php?discussion=1298482983015117100
%% Image kept on page per IP thread: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/posts.php?discussion=1301546849035446000
%% Please do not change or remove without starting a new thread.
%%
[[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, or where LightIsNotGood, [[HeroAntagonist villainous paladins]] may still exist. A paladin that genuinely serves an evil god is known as a Blackguard.[[/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. When not part of TheOrder (or if their order is disbanded), they will instead be a LawfulGood KnightErrant, and continue their order's ideals anyway. The term "Paladin" comes from a cycle of historical literature which includes TheSongOfRoland, where the Paladins are Charlemagne's greatest knights and serve as an idealized symbol of courage and purity.

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]]. 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]]

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 Magic Knight's [[BlackMage offensive spell-slinging]]. 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 DungeonsAndDragons, which [[TropeCodifier codified]] many paladin tropes. Tabletop paladins are stereotypically exceptionally prone to being LawfulStupid or StupidGood, and [[KillerGameMaster Jerkass DMs]] are extremely fond of encouraging this by setting up {{Sadistic Choice}}s invoking ToBeLawfulOrGood. As noted above, the correct answer is "good", but don't expect that to make much difference against [[ScrewTheRulesIMakeThem determined GMs]]. Ideally a Paladin's fall from grace should be a terrible punishment for choosing to perform either a genuinely Disorderly or Evil act, not the result of forcing a sadistic choice.

Compare MagicKnight (the more generalized and/or offensively-oriented counterpart to this trope), CombatMedic (who has healing as first priority and combat second), TheParagon (the archetypical personality for a paladin), and GoodShepherd (replace 'knight' with 'priest').

Not related to Creator/CJCherryh's stand-alone book ''Literature/ThePaladin''.

----
!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[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]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Priam Agrivar from [[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.
[[/folder]]

[[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, [[TheWonderfulWizardOfOz Nick Chopper]], sworn to serve and protect the citizens of Oz "from the greatest monarch to the smallest insect."
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* In ''StarWars'', the Jedi 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.
* {{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 the sequel...]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* 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 into each of which has been incorporated one of the nails used during the crucifixion of Jesus. 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. Michael Carpenter, the most often-seen Knight in the series, even wears plate armor (albeit reinforced with Kevlar, and other Knights such as Sanya are known to rely on more modern gear including a Kalashnikov automatic rifle). 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[[/note]]. In fact, their primary mission when dealing with the Order of the Blackened Denarius - a group of up to thirty people possessed by {{Fallen Angel}}s - is not to execute them but to offer them redemption and save them from the path of darkness if at all possible. In the novel ''Literature/SkinGame'', [[spoiler:Michael even offers a chance at redemption to Nicodemus Archleon, the ''leader'' of the Order and a man who's cut a bloody swath across the planet for thousands of years. Obviously it doesn't work.]]
* 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 ''TheWarGods'' series by 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 ''TheElenium'' by 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]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''HaveGunWillTravel'' was an American western television series that ran from 1957 to 1963, starring Richard Boone as Paladin, a gentleman gunfighter and West Point educated former army officer who worked as a "fixer" of sorts, settling disputes and solving problems that would normally escalate into unnecessary violence.
* Alluded to/played within an episode of {{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.
* ''Series/{{Angel}}'':
** Angel could be said to be this, despite his unholy vampire nature. His mission is frequently said to be [[WeHelpTheHelpless "helping the helpless."]]
** Of all the characters in either Buffy or Angel, it is Lorne who is the most morally pure, and the most morally inspirational. If you don't sort of wish you could be a little bit more like him, you have no soul in you at all.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Mythology]]
* Of all the Knightly-courts of early Christian Era, perhaps none is more well known than that of {{King Arthur}}, and of course of all of his knights, none embodied the ideals of a Paladin quite so perfectly, right down to the stupid part of being {{Lawful Stupid}}, as Lancelot Du Lac.
** Please note, this is in reference to the actual Historical/Mythological figures, and not the figures as popularized on modern television.
[[/folder]]

[[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.
** 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.
** 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 additions 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". 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.
*** There's Cavaliers (fit the bill for just about anything but tend to LawfulGood), the Blackguard (TrueNeutral, featured first in Heroes of Shadow) and Gray Guards (Paragon Path, requires training in Insight and Intimidation) in 4th Edition. Besides, Paladins can take things like Power of Death, Power of Winter (from the TrueNeutral Goddess of Death Raven Queen), Power of Tyranny and Power of Strife (from Asmodeus and Tiamat, both LawfulEvil) and Power of Venoms (NeutralEvil Zehir). Paladins are more of a "Holy Champion of a God, no matter what God", much like the Angels in the PointsOfLight setting.
* The Holy Knight from [[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}}''
** {{Deconstructed}} with the Grey Knights chapter of Space Marines. They have loads of powers to fight daemons and are completely incorruptible, but are [[KnightTemplar extremely ruthless]] in their mission. 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 Sisters Of Battle also fit this role.
* 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.
* Dawn and Zenith caste Solar {{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}} DrunkQuest]] has one as a character class. She likes [[{{The Need for Mead}} mead.]]
* Paladins in ''TabletopGame/{{Ironclaw}}'' are essentially clerics who apply their class dice to the Melee Combat skill rather than Leadership, and a lot of WhiteMagic uses Leadership in some way, and they start out with a sword that can have spells loaded into it like the staffs that other clerics have.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''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. Also a LightningBruiser barring offensive magic. The DS remake makes him even more of a tank, with the ([[GameBreaker passive!]]) ability to draw attacks to him and [[CounterAttack counter]].
** 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 intercepts 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.
** Paladin's 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 the designated tank class. In terms of lore, they originated as the personal bodyguard of the sultan of Ul'dah.
** 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.
* ''{{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 were 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 ''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 light being 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 naruu of Shattrath for help. They pledged themselves to help the naruu during the assault on the Sunwell, and after it was re-invigorated by the holy energies of the very same naruu 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.
* VideoGame/{{Diablo}} II 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.
** 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.
* 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.
* The Paladins of ''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.
** DragonQuestVI's Paladin class is unlocked after max ranks in Priest and Martial Artist for some reason. 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.
** ''VideoGame/BaldursGate'': You can take Ajantis into your party, but given the games limited [=NPC=] interactions, he doesn't have anything to say.
** ''Baldur's Gate II'': There's Keldorn and the Order of the Radiant Heart. 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.
** ''Lunar: Eternal Blue'': 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/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.]]
*** 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.
* ''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 in it for life.
** 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
* Flynn in ''VideoGame/TalesOfVesperia'' (especially the PS3 version) is the first true paladin style character in the series.
* The ''[[VideoGame/{{Civilization}} Civilization IV]]'' mod ''VideoGame/FallFromHeaven'' has paladins. The player must be good to use them. Given the CrapSackWorld the game is, GoodIsNotNice.
* In ''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.
* MickeyMouse in ''KingdomHearts'' has every aspect of this trope but the title.
* ''{{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'' differ from the standard version trope in that they are openly NeutralGood from the start; the Paladin mentor Rakeesh defied the rule of law in his homeland because he thought it 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 ''QuestForGloryIII'' he becomes an outright MagicKnight, when unlocking the Heal ability adds the Magic skill.
* Artix Von 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 ''{{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 ''FireEmblem'' series is, for the most part, this InNameOnly; it has 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 {{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 OgreBattle series of games commonly have Paladins as a class. Then tend to be among the strongest Melee fighters, with minor healing magic.
* 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.
* It is perfectly possible to play a Paladin in ''VideoGame/TheElderScrolls'', though the franchise's open-ended levelling system makes it purely a player choice rather than an official class. Specific parts of different games either encourage or cater to that playstyle, however.
** The ''Knights of the Nine'' expansion to ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIVOblivion'' 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'', especially if you have the Dawnguard DLC expansion, which pits a group of these paladins against a deadly coven of vampires. Champions of Meridia, one of the only nonevil 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.
* "The Order" in ''DevilMayCry 4''. '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.
* {{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.
* Dupre the paladin is one of the Avatar's companions in the ''Franchise/{{Ultima}}'' series. [[spoiler:He makes the HeroicSacrifice to restore the Chaos Serpent in ''Ultima VII Part II: 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.
[[/folder]]

[[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'' option."
* ''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 FamiliarGround, [[http://www.familiar-ground.com/2009/03/23/respect-his-authoritay/ the horse's human]]
* ''ThePlayersGuideToSISU'' features Veitsi, a Paladin who leans toward the warrior side.
* Eva Wilson from ''Webcomic/OurLittleAdventure''.
* Syranon Glaed in HeartCore, the beloved beastman Paladin from New Ayers who has become a celebrity amongst the people due to his battles against demons.
* {{Drowtales}} has the [[KnightTemplar Kyorl'solenurn Clan]], whose operandus modi revolves around exterminating the [[OurDemonsAreDifferent Demonic Taint]] from Drow Society. The problem is that 90% of the population is tainted thanks to one of the Drow's High Princesses. So they have their work cut out for them.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* Crusader, a devoutly faithful superhero sponsored by the Roman Catholic Church, from the ''GlobalGuardiansPBEMUniverse''.
* The original LeeroyJenkins of the LeeroyJenkinsVideo was of the Paladin class. On the other hand, Leeroy as actually played was more ChaoticNeutral than LawfulGood.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:WesternAnimation]]
* Every incarnation of [[Franchise/{{Transformers}} Optimus Prime]] is this type of character (the exception being ''TransformersShatteredGlass'', which has Megatron instead), but this has never been more obvious in his characterisation than in ''WesternAnimation/TransformersPrime''. He even slew a robotic demon (Unicron) in the Season 1 finale.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Real Life]]
* The TropeNamer is, of course, the actual Paladins: the "Twelve Peers", the foremost Christian warriors of the court of Charlemagne. They were first described in ''Literature/TheSongOfRoland'', and the eponymous Roland was said to have eventually become the leader of the Paladins. What they actually did, and what was merely propaganda and hearsay, is a little less clear.
* The word "Paladin" comes from the Paladine Hill in Rome, which in ancient times was where the high government officials had their offices. Being a Paladine was about official authority, not about skill as a warrior or devotion to righteousness. The Twelve Peers were originally dubbed Paladins because they were high officials in Charlemagne's court.
[[/folder]]

----