“The benevolent God of Light will forgive your sins.” I must have said that line at least a million times in my time as the Sun Knight. However, the greatest wish in my life is to be able to stand before the entire continent and roar, “Damn your ‘the whole continent knows’! This Sun Knight just doesn’t feel like smiling! I just don’t want to forgive these human trashes! I just want to pepper my sentences with ‘f***’!”
— The Sun Knight
The Legend of Sun Knight or Legend of the Sun Knight (depending on who you ask) is a series of Taiwanese novels written by Yu Wo, following the adventures and misadventures of the thirty-eighth generation Sun Knight and the other 11 holy knights. In 2010, it was adapted into a manhua drawn by Os Rabbit Cat/Neko Kreus.In theory, the Sun Knight is kind, merciful and will never abandon a life. He always smiles and praises the Light God in every sentence; he doesn't drink or swear; he is pure-minded. In practice...not so much - he's a closet pervert, has a ridiculously high tolerance for liquor and a large swearing vocabulary. The rest of the Holy Knights are pretty similar, with expected personalities completely different to their real ones. Now add in two other major religions competing with the Church of the God of Light, a fat pig of a king, and more darkness and evil in the world than you can shake a stick at, and you have a pretty good idea of what The Legend of Sun Knight is like.Translations for the novel can be found here and the manhua scanlations can be found here and here.For other works by the same author Yu Wo, see ½ Prince and Eclipse Hunter.Now with a characters sheet
The series as a whole provides examples of:
Aerith and Bob: Some characters have fantastic names like Creus (or Grisia, depending on the translation) and Leithe (or Lesus), then they have common names like Elijah, Ed and Roland
Agent Peacock: Creus is forced to be this due to the Sun Knight's image.
All Work vs. All Play: The Storm Knight is the embodiment of this trope. On the outside, he's a guy who's always winking at ladies, speaking his mind to whoever he wants, and skipping out on all his meetings. On the inside, he's a workaholic who knows every secret worth knowing, or at least knows how to find them out, and often seen carrying piles of paperwork or being buried in them. Sun often worries that Storm will work himself to death.
Ambadassador: The Sun Knight has the duty of upholding justice, but doing so in a peaceful manner. If that doesn't work, he works behind the scenes, using all his intellect and resources to reach his goals. He even uses people as unknowing pawns if it'll help him. And he doesn't mind secretly rubbing it in when his "victim" is cornered by his plan.
A Man Is Not a Virgin: Averted. Three out of the Twelve Holy Knights are confirmed virgins note Sun, Frost and Storm, and another two note Judge, Hell are implied to be.
Subverted when Creus is revealed to have had a daughter with Charlotte after his return from the Church of Chaos in the latest novel 39
Anime Catholicism: The references make no attempt at subtly: The Pope, the God of Light, - who's symbol is a cross, by the way - but it doesn't go so far as to deal with the actual religion of Catholicism. Mostly it's used for aesthetic appeal. After all, since when have Catholics allowed female priests?
Has a bit of Fantastic Catholicism sprinkled in; holy light comes from the God of Light, and it's deadly to any creatures of darkness.
Aristocrats Are Evil: When Sun is trying to find out which noble has a hobby for torturing people, Storm tells him that most nobles share that interest.
Arson, Murder, and Lifesaving: Although he (usually) has good intentions, most of Sun's schemes include at least one questionable act. It helps that the main person to notice that he's breaking rules while resolving problems is Judge, who's willing to turn a blind eye on what his friend does.
Authority Equals Asskicking: The Twelve Holy Knights are the highest order of the Church of Light and their prowess makes them practically living, breathing gods.
Bad Liar: Roland is one, which is how Sun knew he was lying when he said the Crown Prince was the one who tortured him to death.
Batman Gambit: The plan to overthrow the fat pig king relies on the king hiding and listening in on Sun and Judge's attempt to stop Roland, the king being an idiot when he hears Roland's motive, Blaze losing his temper, Roland losing his temper, and the royal and holy knights distracting one another from Roland. The number of people Sun had to predict the actions of really hammers home his Chess Master skills.
Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Sun - the masculine variation of the trope - regularly inverts this by getting sweaty, smelly, bloody, bruised, sliced and so on. The “smelly” part tends to bother him more than the rest.
Sun: *to himself, after several days without washing* I should be called the stinky knight!
Beware the Nice Ones: Leaf is a nice guy, but he is terrifying if you're on the opposite side in a fight, according to Sun. He is also kinda into "voodoo" and using Sun's hair and fingernails for it.
For that matter, Sun. He may spout platitudes in every sentence, constantly smile and appear to forgive you for all your sins, but that's just the image he has to portray. The rule among the Twelve Holy Knights themselves is "No matter how lame/foolish the Sun Knight looks, never ever provoke his wrath."
He even dares to do this to a princess from the neighboring country by giving her a recipe of a whitening face mask that turns the poor woman's face into the colour of charcoal for killing the Leaf Knight.
Bishōnen: Pretty much all the holy knights to some extent; taken up to eleven by the first volume of the manhua and toned down thereafter.
Blind Seer: The Sun Knight, after he sacrifices his sight to resurrect the Leaf Knight. He compensates for his blindness with his inborn magical ability known as the Elemental Perception, which enables him to perceive the elemental structure of things around him.
Ice Knight's training was this, too, as revealed in his side story.
Brilliant, but Lazy: Sun. Not too many people can handle three dangerous liches, Silent Eagle and his Church, untold numbers of undead creatures, the largest coalition in eons between the Church of Light and the adventurers of the continent, and yet try to turn everything into one big game.
Can't Hold His Liquor: Subverted. The Sun Knight is supposed to be this, turning red on the first cup, getting a headache on the second and keeling over unconscious on the third. In order to achieve this, every generation of Sun Knights has been a strong alcoholic.
The Casanova: What the Storm Knight is supposed to be; the current Earth Knight actually is one, though.
Celibate Hero: Sun Knights are supposed to love only God and not women, making them this. The current generation Sun Knight is not happy about it.
Chekhov's Armoury: Seen often, from character descriptions to hints leading up to Sun's big plans.
Corrupt Church: Played with, with the Temple of the Light God. The Pope may be a greedy, underhanded trickster, Sun might blackmail people into helping him, (and be blackmailed back) but throughout the books, and especially starting in volume six it's shown that the Temple of the God of Light to some level really care about the people they're supposed to protect. Sun even articulates it when he rescues young Blaze from Pink's clutches:
Pink:If I were afraid of the Holy Temple, why would I dare to live here? Sun, think about it; why does the Temple of the God of Light put up with me living here?
Young Sun: Because they don't want to anger you...
*Blaze frowns in disgust at the weakness and cowardice of the Church*
Young Sun: That still doesn't mean the Holy Temple is afraid of you! The city is filled with innocent people, and fighting you might end with thousands of dead people. You couldn't care less about them, but the Temple cannot not care! So long as you don't hurt people, the Holy Temple tolerates your presence, but if you dare harm anyone, the Holy Temple definitely, definitely will not let you. *glaring Pink down*
Curb-Stomp Battle: Creus Sun versus Silent Eagle. The one who lost is not the lazy fop who constantly worries about his retirement fund and beauty regimen.
End of volume six. Sun didn't stand a chance...
Curse That Cures: Sun's okay with risking world destruction in order to save the world. He's also convinced that staying a sun knight will get him killed. Doesn't take him long to make a choice.
Sun articulates this trope when he convinces a bummed-out Judge that the Judgement Knight, however harsh and cruel he must be, is still on the good side:
Sun: “Judge, even if you face the dark and have your back facing the light, you are still standing in the light, not the dark!”
Subverted when it's revealed that absorbing too much dark element tends to drive you crazy...psychotically crazy.
Played straight when Sun uses chains of darkness to restrain a dragon from eating Blaze and Ice.
Inverted in the same scene, since he was the one who chucked them to the dragon in the first place.
Determinator: Sun. After all, Neo picked him because, proportionally, he's willing to give up so much more than everyone else, even as a kid. Sure, he might be at the root of the scuffle going on, but he won't just let the problem run wild. He'll fix his own messes, his own way.
Young Sun: *in shock, darting worried glances at Roland* Why did you choose me?
Neo: Well… *looks from Roland, who's practically untouched, to Grisia, who's skin is covered in bruises, and smiles thoughtfully* Maybe because of your lovely golden hair!
Did Not See That Coming: Sun has this happen to him a couple of times throughout the series. Hard to catch him off guard like that, though.
Easily Forgiven: Sun had an awkward conversation with Blaze and Frost after he lost his memories and became a complete Jerkass (as opposed to his usual Manipulative Bastard) doing stuff like taking Frost hostage, throwing Frost into a dragon den and let him become dragon chowder for fun because he wanted to see a Holy Knight vs Dragon battle, ordering Blaze to chop off his own hand while holding his knights hostage, etc., etc., etc., but they play this trope mostly straight. Though Frost blocks Sun's way when he was trying to escape from Judge, but that was mostly for Sun's own good.
Sun: Didn't you say I was forgiven?!
Frost: *pats him on the head* I forgive you for throwing me to a dragon. *but continues blocking his way*
Equivalent Exchange: Is vaguely present with Sun's resurrection magic. It takes a whole lot of holy light and energy to bring someone back to life to start with, but to do it successfully, without any side-effects, costs an even loftier price. Sun's eyes, anyone?
And his beautiful blond hair too, but considering what he is asking for, the price is ridiculously low.
And even when he's resurrected, and he still pays a price. So unfair...
Gender-Blender Name: A rare example, when Sun is in a parade in the city, a couple with a newborn child approach and ask him to christen their child, after some thought Sun chooses the name Hungri. The problem? It's a girls name, but the newborn is a boy.
Gentle Giant: The expected personality of the Earth Knight. Completely Subverted in reality, much to Sun's chagrin.
Sun: Judge, first I cast resurrection, and lost my eyes, the blue eyes of the sun knight. Second, lost the golden hair of the sun knight. Third, my connection to holy light power disappeared. What do you think the God of Light means by that?
God Is Good: The God of Light puts up with Sun. All the time. He should get some kind of award. Sun's (debatably) most ruthless stunt; followed by severe regret. And then the God of Light answers, and we realize why the Sun Knight is considered so special to the God of Light.
Gods Need Prayer Badly: A main aspect of the story universe. The number of believers determines how powerful the god is, and "as such, the gods often resemble gangsters fighting over territory as they desperately attempt to extend the influence of their own religions."
Good Is Not Nice: Judge mostly Type 4, except he is nice. Really nice. In fact, he's one of the nicest characters ever: how often does he put up with Sun? He and the God of Light should compare scores. Judge mixes Good Is Not Soft, with Good Is Not Nice; he's tough on friends and enemies alike, but only because he wants them all to be better people.
Guilt Complex: Even Sun's guilt complex has a JerkAss attitude. Anyone who dares suggest that he's not at fault for something he's convinced he is will either regret it or be subjected to a rather nasty, biting comeback.
He's not the only one in the series, either. Stone reports that Leaf was nearly ready to try taking out his eyes and giving them to Sun after he heard that Sun was blinded in the process of saving him.
Hanging Judge: The Judgement Knight is intended to be one of these. The current Judgement Knight is ruthless in court, but can't actually stomach watching most of the punishments he orders, and first tried out for the position after hearing the previous Judgement Knight talk about showing mercy to those who were innocent.
Heel-Face Turn: Roland. Once he calms down about the circumstances of his death, he goes from trying to kill the Sun Knight, to becoming his solid supporter as the new Hell Knight.
Het is Ew: Inverted. Sun and Earth have a solitary point of agreement: guys viewing other guys romantically is not only creepy, but also quite squicky.
Earth *to himself, after mistaking Sun for a girl from behind*:...A guy?! *face twists in utter disgust* “Yuck! Bad luck!”
Or Sun, when Storm suggests fiddling with Sun's hair as they're riding in a parade:
Sun: *to himself* The horse and I felt as one spirit. I had mentally conveyed my revulsion for another man so much as touching me, and this state of complete unity let the horse act so suitably!note Of course, Storm was only interested in using it as an excuse to not have to wink at all the women on the sidelines.
He Will Not Cry, so I Cry for Him: Sun pretty much gives people a heart-attack if they catch him crying...and not just because of this. Given that he's just found out that Roland was tortured to death, it may not be quite as shocking.
Humans Are Flawed: Maybe this should've been the name of the series, given the number of times the trope is played straight:
First off, there's Sun. Everyone knows he's incredibly flawed; but on many levels, he actually deserves the title of Sun Knight. After all, he forgives the guy who just killed on of his "brothers" really quickly...especially when you consider that it's Sun.
Hyper Competent Sidekick: Both the Storm Knight and Adair do most of the work of the Sun Knight. Or rather, most of his work is pushed onto them. Adair is one of the few people who relays the words of the Sun Knight to the rest of the division, and is perceptive to what the Sun Knight actually wants. This includes getting other people beat up in revenge and other underhanded measures required to be taken.
I Ain't Got Time to Bleed: Sun experiences a particularly amusing example when the Death Knight slashes his back open. He spends the rest of the chapter getting annoyed with Leaf's anxious, distracting questions, which turn out to be fully justified when Sun topples over. The sight of his own pool of blood on the ground actually shocks Sun.
I'll Pretend I Didn't Hear That: The holy knights decide, after reaching the conclusion that Sun used necromancy and let a Death Lord be born in order to overthrow the king, that their best course of action is to go on pretending Sun is perfect.
Implausible Hair Color: Though it's mentioned that Storm's blue hair is technically impossible, the matter of Ice's light blue hair, Leaf's green hair, etc. is never brought to attention.
Impractically Fancy Outfit: In the manhua. Special mention goes to the Sun Knights, who go above and beyond this trope with freakin' wings and roses on their outfits.
Insistent Terminology: Sun prefers to call his swordsmanship "not very good" rather than "rotten", despite being closer to the latter.
Somewhat justified in that while his swordsmanship is indeed "rotten" compared to the other Holy Knights, as a swordsman being compared to other *ahem* ordinary swordsmen, he is still rather good.
Instant Expert: However he can master any spell he sees without even learning the proper incantations...
Insult Backfire: Various times, Sun takes many instances of people calling him a useless pretty boy as a compliment.It means I'm pretty, right?. Even the Metal Knight calling him a glowing pillar is taken as a compliment.
Played straight, because while his fellow knight captains and holy knights will describe him as a Manipulative Bastard, they also insist that he'll never abandon them. note Cue the latter volumes. He might allow them to get within inches of death, but if someone actually tries to KILL one of his holy knights, that someone will pay dearly.
When the Son of War nearly kills Adair: Sun. Is. Not. Happy.
Knight in Sour Armor: Sun (and all the other holy knights to different degrees) are this. The best way of summing this up is by quoting Sun's teacher:
Neo: Child, the Sun Knight may not be able to achieve absolute justice. The Sun Knight may have to compromise. However, the Sun Knight would never relinquish his duty to uphold justice. The moment you forsake enforcing justice is the moment when you should tear off the Sun insignia, because you will no longer be a Sun Knight!
Lemony Narrator: Look at the page quote, yeah, that's pretty much how the entire manhua and novels go around the story.
Actually it's more like a First-Person Smartass , Sun is not merely a narrator. He is one of the main characters.
Actually, Sun is not merely one of the main characters. He is the main character.
Let's Get Dangerous: Sun Knight himself, usually he seems like a pansy, and a horrible joke, rather than a knight, but when Leaf dies, Sun proves just how dangerous he can be when he gets serious.
Loony Friends Improve Your Personality: Judge is the comically serious variation, and the loony friend is unquestionably Sun. There isn't enough time left in the universe to calculate how often he's been persuaded to steal pies, buy sweets, chase off dogs, beat up "bad guys" and other, assorted, "underhanded" tricks.
Loyal Phlebotinum: Only the Sun Knight can use the Divine Sun Sword's full powers. Anyone else can only use it as an ordinary sword.
Machiavelli Was Wrong: All of the Holy Knights to some extent love Sun; some more than others. note *cough, cough* Earth! *cough, cough* End of volume six...everyone’s heartbroken. Even the Pope. But they also to some extent fear Sun, since he’s so dang powerful. Not that they think he’ll kill them...but...well, life might become a whole lot less pleasant if they really cross him.
Additionally, Sun cares deeply about Judge, but also worries way more than anyone with a “clear conscience” should about what Judge will do when he finds out what Sun’s been up to recently... This is probably because Sun almost never does have an actually clear conscience.
Subverted, because the Twelve Holy Knights have to listen to him; he's the head of the God of Light's knight division. note And the darling of the God of Light.
Played straight, because almost all of the Twelve Holy Knights have personal loyalty towards him, despite knowing him for the jerk he is.
Master Swordsman: Neo, the thirty-seventh generation Sun Knight and the current one's teacher, is said to have been the strongest Sun Knight in history. Ice is very good, and Roland could apparently beat a grown man at ten. Inverted by Sun, who's... not very good with a sword.
Judge got left out? He often acts as the simultaneous sparring commentary for Sun since Sun is rot... *ahem* not very good at swordsmanship. And he was able to make grown men quake in their boots using only a knife. Before he became the Judgement Knight. Just dang cool.
No Hero to His Valet: Sun's knights are still more than willing to follow him, but after having been ordered to gang up on so many people none of them seem swayed by the imaged of a perfect, pristine Sun Knight, and will often bad mouth him when they don't think he can hear.
Obfuscating Stupidity: The Sun Knight spends most of his time spouting inane platitudes and keeping up with his beauty regimen. Luckily for him, he's also a genius mage and necromancer, as well as a very capable Chessmaster. Almost everyone who gets to know him is a little bit afraid of him.
One Dialogue, Two Conversations: Hell has one with his vice-captain upon returning to take his position. While Hell is confirming that the person he's talking to is, in fact, his vice captain, and then confesses that he's not the real Hell Knight, his vice captain believes they're discussing how Hell shouldn't be allowed to reclaim his rank after having been gone so long.
Orgy of Evidence: The fat king stumbles into this when he specifies that the Death Knight was tortured to death. Sun capitalizes on the error. And takes deep pleasure in it.
Red and Stephen are the other Liches, making up a total of 3 Liches in the story.
Paper-Thin Disguise: Played with. Sun's disguise as "Supreme Dragon" is actually pretty good, dying his hair, distorting his voice (thanks to the mask) and at first the readers (and Sun) are led to believe that he fooled Blaze with it. However, the extra chapter of the first volume has a not-so-secret meeting with the Holy knights sans Sun, revealing that Blaze recognised him, but wasn't sure merely because he was using necromancy.
Running Gag: Sun is always interrupted when he is applying his whitening mask.
And he and Earth keeps barging into each other's room when things are getting sexy, which is the main cause of their strong mutual dislike and animosity. Earth seems a bit more talented, since through all eight volumes, Sun's a virgin.
Holy Knight Captain: Theoretically, the sun knight is the leader of the temple, head of the Twelve Holy Knights, right?"
Other Holy Knight Captain: Yes!
First Holy Knight Captain: So, theoretically, the Judgement Knight can't arrest the Sun Knight and hold him in solitary confinement.
Other Holy Knight Captain: Not even the Pope could do that.
First Holy Knight Captain: So...this doesn't really seem right, does it?
Other Holy Knight Captain: In theory, no, but in fact...if you're daring enough, just try to let Sun out in front of Judgement!
First Holy Knight Captain:...I'm not actually much of a theorist.
Secret Identity: Every Knight is slightly if not completely different from their surface personalities. Sun furthers this when he temporarily wears a disguise and goes by "Supreme Dragon", and when he learns necromancy despite being the leader of the Holy Knights.
There are rumors that the Hell Knight is merely the Sun Knight's secret identity note This isn't true though, which Sun takes advantage of to avoid having to participate in a duel against the Son Of War.
Roland's disguise comes in handy a lot:
Dylan, when the Hell Knight is AWOL.
Sun, trying to make the other knights think he's the Hell Knight.
Silent Eagle and Princess Alice don't even believe that Sun's really himself until he takes it off!
Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: The Sun Knight regularly uses these in order to praise the God of Light. A few people regularly understand him, but most people suffer headaches if they talk to him for too long from trying to interpret the meaning of his words.
He weaponizes this against the Son of War, successfully giving him headaches within his first few sentences.
Spell My Name with an S: Oh, where to begin...The knights' names are transliterated differently by Prince Revolution and OSS, argued over frequently, and on top of that the Thai transliterations are different too. It's complicated.
Statuesque Stunner: Moon's girlfriend is one because his neck is eternally craned upwards.
The woman in question is definitely statuesque, but whether she qualifies as a stunner leaves room for discussion since she talks in a deep bass voice.
Suppressed Rage: What happens on those rare, scary occasions when either Sun or Jude cross a line, and gets the other really mad. Then they get quiet...and the Holy Temple trembles in its metaphorical boots.
Survivors Guilt: Judge, about his parents. He keeps it really well controlled, though, considering how serious-minded he is. Of course, it's hard to take yourself seriously with a friend like Sun around.
*after rescuing Blaze from potential death*Young Sun: “Want a lollipop? I have blueberry, strawberry, and chocolate. Which one do you want?”
The Chessmaster: The Sun Knight. The only reason he can get away with being such a lazy fop is because he's very, very good at dirty tricks and manipulation. He's well-intentioned, though, and he uses his skill to do things like deposing the corrupt king of his country.
The Conscience: Judge, for Sun, who rarely listens to his literal conscience. He prefers to ignore both.
The Power of Blood: Played With. The Sacred Dragon Mail requires blood to be worn. It can also also use blood to create knives, shurikens, grappling hooks... Resurrection also requires blood. Also, Sun's blood is so saturated with Holy Light that it's practically poison to the undead creatures.
Too Dumb to Live: Charlotte seems like this when she calls Sun a pure, noble person. Of course, she's actually seeing what almost no one else ever does, even Sun himself and his closest friends. Sun has flaws, some pretty bad, but there's a reason he was picked as the next Sun Knight...and it wasn't his lovely hair.
Inverted when Yuna, Igor and the other three adventurers assure Sun that the Twelve Holy Knights are practically gods.
The Unintelligible: Sun borders on this when praising the God of Light in every sentence. While it's easy to make out his words, actually figuring out what they mean can be difficult, and even headache-inducing for other characters.
Urban Legend Love Life: Played straight with Storm, who's supposed to be a Casanova but is probably still a virgin, and inverted with Earth, who's supposed to be extremely shy around girls but has actually seduced more than 30, and the number of 'victims' is still skyrocketing.
Verbal Tic: Sun has to include the God of Light in nearly all of his sentences.
Why Won't You Die?: What every villain feels about the Sun Knight throughout the 38 generations. Passionately.
Sun in particular is hard to kill note he's like a roach; Pink comments that she's finished her strawberry ice, and he still hasn't bled to death...
World's Strongest Man: The previous Sun Knight Neo is called the Strongest Sun Knight in History, and when we see him in action in vol 3, it seems he's more like the strongest knight in history. Either way, Sun can't really think of anything that could really threaten him.
You Gotta Have Blue Hair: A literal case, the Storm Knight must have blue hair, since the first one had blue hair. Every Storm Knight after him has had to apply blue hair dye every day as part of his role, and 8 out of every 10 has died from kidney failure due to too much hair dye.