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Black Knight

"...ride forth on a jet black steed, murder your enemies in one fell blow, and bring nightmares to every corner of the land. If this sounds good to you, consider the career of black knight."
How to Be a Villain, Neil Zawacki

Exactly What It Says on the... Tin.

An enigmatic foe, clad head to toe in armor black as night, which he is never seen without. Usually ridiculously powerful, he is feared by all who know of him. Wielding a sword, speaking in a low monotone or sinister growl, and looking totally badass while doing it, he is almost always a major antagonist. The Hero probably has a score to settle with him. The mystery surrounding his true identity is often a main plot point. Given his armor, he can show up and fight in The Tourney without betraying it.

Commonly fills the role of The Dragon in fantasy stories, since when done right, Black Knights are absurdly cool. A Black Knight is usually found in settings in which a Knight in Shining Armor is also present. Frequently, they revel in combat. Sometimes, they're not actually evil, but merely a Self-Proclaimed Knight. Sometimes, they're even a girl. Sometimes there's nothing but the suit of armor.

The trope name comes from the black knights of feudal Europe, men who would paint their armor and shields black for a number of reasons. One reason to do this was because they had no liege, making them analogous to Ronin Samurai. The black paint prevented the armor from rusting, which made life moderately easier for knights without a squirenote . A more sinister motive for the paint was to disguise who it was they served. A knight could move freely and serve his lord's wishes without bringing him blame by painting over his coat of arms, one of the few ways to reliably identify a man in full platemail. This is Older Than Print, going back at least to Arthurian legend. Note that, in its original usage, a Black Knight was not necessarily villainous, though he was dishonorable, which in The Dung Ages was barely a step up.

Note that, although being a black knight, this character is still a knight. This places them rather high among the list of potential candidates for Dark Is Not Evil, or at least a sympathetic form of villainy. While that can take a variety of forms, they rarely are the Knight in Shining Armor. More likely, they can be anything from a Knight in Sour Armor to a Noble Demon. This character very rarely is a Complete Monster, but also only rarely The Hero. If they are villainous and end up fighting another bad guy, the chances that they are A Lighter Shade of Black in that situation are extremely high. They might also be the holy, chosen guardians of The Sacred Darkness or a Magic Knight who uses that power alongside their sword.

A Monster Knight has a high chance of being a black knight.

If the Black Knight is in service to a female villain, then it may be a case of dark lady and black knight.

Not to be confused with that Sonic the Hedgehog game, although it's also part of this trope.

A Sub-Trope of Evil Wears Black.

See also Darth Vader Clone, because that black space knight is really influential.

For the pinball tables by Steve Ritchie, click here.

Examples

    open/close all folders 

     Anime and Manga 
  • Dark Knight/Prince Kaito from Murder Princess
  • In Aura Battler Dunbine, Burn Burning became a black knight in the second half of the show after he failed his lord too many times. The OP turned it into a Paper-Thin Disguise for the audience though.
  • In Fate/Zero, Berserker, AKA Lancelot, the Knight of the Lake, epitomizes this trope; he is over 6 feet tall, clad with heavy black armor from head to toe, has a black Battle Aura, and has two Noble Phantasms that firstly conceal his statistics from everyone, and secondly, allow him to wield ANY object that is conceptually a weapon, (from butter knives, to simple metal poles, to F-15 Jet fighters) as a weapon, with master-level proficiency, even if he has not actually even held that specific weapon before. If that is not enough for you, he also has a final, third Noble Phantasm which is his fairy-made, unholy blood red sword, Arondight (the sword of the lake), an anti-unit type weapon that increases all his attributes by one rank and has special dragon-slaying properties.
  • The Black Knights of Code Geass.
  • Mai-Otome has a Black Knight among the Aswad, and he goes by the name of Rad (a.k.a. Reito).
  • The Black Knight (and/or Crimsom Knight) from the first episode of The Tower of Druaga is a parody of this kind of character.
  • Ashram in Record of Lodoss War is a rare case of a Bishōnen Black Knight.
  • Racer X in Speed Racer.
  • In The Five Star Stories, there's only one Black Knight at any one time & he's a sort of Legacy Character. The Black Knight is the person Artificial Human Est sees as the ideal pilot for the Humongous Mecha she's bonded to, Vatshu. When the current Black Knight dies, Est goes Walking the Earth looking for a new one. Most are free agents,n though they usually seem to have an affinity for The Kingdom of Colus.
  • The Skull Knight of Berserk, though he doesn't actually wear black. Despite his appearance, he's actually one of the nicest guys in the series. He is really mysterious and doesn't say much aside from cryptic hints though...
  • DarkKnightmon from Digimon Xros Wars combines this trope with Magnificent Bastard and awesome theme music.art
    • Digimon LOVES this trope:
      • The first example was arguably BlackWarGreymon, a dark version of WarGreymon. He was conflicted about his purpose in life which often brought him into conflict with the Digidestined, but it became ultimately clear than he was an honorable being.
      • Beelzemon of the Seven Great Demon Lords is more of a dark knight decked out in biker clothing than Satan or Beelzebub. Its profile describes him as "cruel and merciless, yet exceedingly prideful" and that he never attacks the weak. The Xros Wars version has a more knight-like appearance.
      • Koichi's Human spirit form, Löwemon, is an excellent example of this. He wore armor black as midnight and was (at the time at least) by far their strongest warrior, but he was as noble a hero as the rest of them, making him an example of The Sacred Darkness.
      • Other digimon fit the Black Knight trope that haven't appeared in an anime include: ChaosGallantmon, a demonic version of Gallantmon, and Gaiomon, a samurai version of BlackWarGreymon.
  • Sorta invoked and then subverted in Rose of Versailles. There is a character that refers to himself as the "Black Knight", but said character mixes Just Like Robin Hood with being among the crew of the Duke of Orleans. We also find out his real name: Bernard Chatelet, and later he drops the mantle (after subjecting Andre to Eye Scream and being confronted by his pissed off partner Ocar) and becomes an Intrepid Reporter instead.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! GX gives us the Supreme King.
  • In Maoyuu Maou Yuusha, the Black Knight is The Hero in disguise: He and the Demon Queen (disguised as a human scholar) are secretly playing both sides to find a peaceful political solution to the human-demon war.
  • One of the characters Princess Tutu rescued was a Black Knight.

    Comic Book 
  • More than one character in Marvel Comics is named "The Black Knight." Some are heroes, some villains.
  • Batman's armor may be a lot less bulky than most, but he still fits (hence "The Dark Knight"). His Tangent Comics incarnation is a literal "dark knight", a cursed suit of armor that stands stalwart against evil.
  • Disney comics have two Black Knights. One is the Phantom Blot, Mickey Mouse's murderous, sometimes megalomaniac supervillain foe covered completely in an inky black cloak.
  • Don Rosa drew a pair of Scrooge McDuck stories featuring a Black Knight actually called that. He was a master thief named Arpin Lusene (better known by his criminal alias, Le Chevalier Noir), modeled after the Gentleman Thief trope. He gets even worse when he actually gets a black suit of armour covered with a substance that destroys anything it touches. (He's very careful when putting it on.)
  • Spider-Man had a one-shot foe called Knight in a super-villain duo called Knight and Fog. He had the power to transform into a large, metal humanoid with admantium skin and a retractable sword coming out of his wrist. Like the characteristic black knight, he was simply a Punch Clock Villain Professional Killer who gained no pleasure from killing, and followed his agreements to the letter.
  • Captain Rochnan, commander of the Warrior Monks, in Le Scorpion.
  • Midnighter from The Authority is like a more kill-happy Batman; he's one of the most feared fighters in the Wildstorm universe, and dedicated to making 'a finer world' - even if he needs to kill for it. He's explicitly labelled a knight by Gaia Rothstein, who begs him to rescue her from an evil sorcerer holding her hostage, and rewards him in true fairytale fashion when he completes his quest. He even gets to slay a dragon!

    Fan Fiction 

    Film 
  • There are two films with Black Knight in the title, one from 1954 (The Black Knight) starring Alan Ladd, and another from 2001 (Black Knight), starring Martin Lawrence.
  • Braveheart has William Wallace duel a character like this at one point, complete with a dramatic identity reveal.
  • A Kid in King Arthur's Court reveals its master jouster Black Knight to be not just a good guy, but a girl!
  • Two of these end up coming into A Knight's Tale. One's the classic trope villain, and the other is the original King Incognito use.
  • Monty Python and the Holy Grail famously features a Black Knight, who ends up with all of his limbs chopped off, yet still lusting for bloodshed.
  • Sauron in the opening of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring wears a huge suit of armor, towering over the human and elf soldiers he battles, and sends scores of them flying with with each blow of his giant mace. In the books, he was more of a shadowy being; here, he is modeled after his former master Morgoth from Silmarillion, who was described wearing dark armour.
    • His Dragon the Witch-King of Angmar similarly wears spiky armor, although before Return of the King he wears a simple black cloak like all the other Ringwraiths.
  • The huge black-armoured warrior in the film adaptation of Solomon Kane is silent, mysterious and nigh on unstoppable. True to the trope, it turns out to be Solomon's horribly disfigured brother inside the armour.
  • Star Wars: Darth Vader is a black knight IN SPACE!.
  • Averted in Disney's The Sword in the Stone. The knight wearing all black was shown to be scary, but when it was spread and challenged that Wart (Arthur) had pulled the sword out and put it back; he was the most reasonable and vocal about giving him a chance to show everyone he could do it again.
  • Rinzler in TRON: Legacy is Clu's champion in the games and races. Clad in black, with a smooth black helmet obscuring his face, Rinzler is the only character Dual Wielding discs. He is extremely fast, agile, and durable. This makes sense, as he used to be Tron, the security program, before Clu enslaved him.

    Literature 
  • "Le Noir Faineant" (The Black Sluggard) of Ivanhoe. In this case it's not The Dragon but rather a Large Ham, and secretly King Richard the Lionhearted in disguise. As the king, Richard has no liege, so he is able to be a Black Knight on a technicality.
    • Wilfred of Ivanhoe fights as the black knight "Desdichado" ('Unfortunate') in a tournament, and qualifies better as a black knight in a historical sense, being a knight who lost his liege over a matter of honour.
  • The notorious bounty hunter Aloysius Knight in the Matthew Reilly novel Scarecrow goes by the call sign "Black Knight", and dresses appropriately. In accordance with the trope, his origin, identity and allegiances are unclear.
  • The Improfanfic Dark Heart High has Craig Maimsworth, Black Knight!...in training. He's not very good at it. He does wear heavy black armor though.
  • Lord Soth from the Dragonlance novels is a very good example of this trope being a fallen hero, undead (a Death Knight), the leader of a small army of undead and the second in command to Takhisis and Kitiara before being exiled to Ravenloft.
    • Later stories introduce the Knights of Takhisis, a military order of Black Knights (living, for the most part).
  • In A Song of Ice and Fire we get to hear of several Black Knights, called Mystery Knights, who remain masked until they are defeated; it is apparently all but law that whomever defeats a mystery knight is a tournament is the one who removes the helm. Indeed, it seems there was hardly a famous tourney in which there wasn't at least one participating. One of the most famous, never unmasked, was the Knight of the Laughing Tree, who competed at the great tourney at Harrenhal, made it a point to defeat knights who had bullied a young crannogman squire, became champion at the end of the second day, and then vanished before the third day began, leaving behind only the shield, emblazoned with a laughing heart tree. Hints in the story, and reader speculation, tend thinking the Knight was Lyanna Stark, Lord Eddard's late sister; the crannogman was almost certainly Howland Reed, a bannerman to the Starks.
    • In what is probably an aversion, while the Night's Watch always wears black, and there are indeed anointed knights serving among them, we have not yet seen one dressed in full plate, complete with face-concealing helm, who for some time is unable to be identified by a viewpoint character; given the relatively small size of the organization and that the Night's Watch isn't looked upon highly anymore, it seems we are unlikely to by series end.
    • Perhaps the ultimate in-series example is Ser Gregor Clegane, Tywin Lannister's psychotic knight and his main killer. He wears black armour, is gigantic, The Dreaded, a Complete Monster and The Brute. He's even ordered to harry the Riverlands incognito/ off-the-record. Or, as incognito as the only guy his size can possibly manage, at least.
  • In Eve Forward's Villains by Necessity, a Black Knight joins the protagonists, who nickname him Blackmail. By the end of the book he's revealed to be a legendary paladin who was part of the team of heroes responsible for tipping the Balance Between Good and Evil to the light, and proves his Dark Is Not Evil credentials by sacrificing himself to keep the world from being consumed by the light.
  • Played in its non-villainous incarnation by Sir Guy Losobal, the Black Knight of Christopher Stasheff's A Wizard in Rhyme series, who serves as an ally to the protagonist in most of the books.
  • The titular character of Alexandre Herculano's Eurico.
  • In The Black Company novels by Glen Cook, Croaker temporarily becomes a black knight by donning his Widowmaker armor to damage enemy morale.
  • Sparhawk's enemies in The Elenium/Tamuli essentially see him as this, due partially to the black Pandion Knight armor, partially to the Pandion order's reputation for casual cruelty, and partially to being Anakha.
    • Martel fits the archetype better, being a dishonoured former knight-turned mercenary.
  • Averted in Through the Looking Glass, and What Alice Found There, which uses white and red chess set symbolism and characters. (As well as subverted.)
  • The Warrior in Jet and Gold from the Dorian Hawkmoon trilogy has the appearance of one of these, but is actually fully on the good guys' side (if in an annoyingly enigmatic way).
    • Gaynor the Damned is a straighter version of the trope who appears in many Michael Moorcock series (although his armour is not black but constantly changing in colour, due to the influence of Chaos).
  • Berserker in Fate/Zero, who is only known as "The Black Knight" since he is wearing the typical black armor. He is also clouded by a fog that obscures his identity and status. His identity is revealed later on to be Lancelot of the Lake, who wanted to descend into madness after the mess that he made in his lifetime as a knight.
  • In Howard Pyle's late-19th/early-20th Century versions of the Arthurian mythos, this is the default appearance of numerous opponents of the Knights of the Round Table during their adventures.
  • In The Once and Future King, King Arthur states that it has always been his dream to dress up as a Black Knight and stand by a bridge, and challenge any knight who comes by to a joust. Later on, in The Ill-Made Knight, he is shown doing just that when Lancelot comes to King Arthur's Court.
  • A black knight appears fairly early in The Silver Chair as a mysterious woman's companion. She turns out to be the Big Bad (a student or associate of Jadis from The Magician's Nephew and The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe), and the knight turns out to be King Caspian's long-missing son Rilian.

     Live Action TV 
  • One turns up in Merlin. It turns out to be none other than Arthur's uncle, summoned as a wraith by Nimueh.
  • A few have shown up in Super Sentai and Power Rangers:
    • Bull Black the Black Knight in Seijuu Sentai Gingaman/the Magna Defender in Power Rangers Lost Galaxy, an Aloof Ally who lost a family member and is out for vengeance against the villains, clashing with the Rangers in the process. Both eventually pass on their powers to the Red Ranger's brother (Hyuuga and Mike, respectively), who becomes a proper Sixth Ranger.
    • Wolzard in Mahou Sentai Magiranger/Koragg the Knight Wolf in Power Rangers Mystic Force, The Dragon with a Hellish Horse but also has an honorable streak a mile wide, often rationalizing that the Rangers are Not Worth Killing. Really the Brainwashed and Crazy father of the entire team in Magiranger and of the Red Ranger in Mystic Force. Incidentally, his armor isn't black but purple.
    • Gosei Knight in Tensou Sentai Goseiger, another Aloof Ally and a Knight Templar - like the Rangers, he wants to protect the Earth; unlike the Rangers he doesn't particularly care for its people. His armor is actually silver, but his attitude qualifies him for this trope.
    • Zhang Liao from Gosei Sentai Dairanger. Clad in black armor too, and He is a member of the Dai tribe, one of the original five warriors, who turned traitor. He repents out of love for his son - Ryou, the Red Ranger, but perishes after the spirits of his companions forgive him.
    • And from Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger the year before, and also the father of a Red Ranger, as well as the Sixth Ranger the Yamato Tribe's black knight. He's a flashback-only character, but he is important. He tried to overthrow the Yamato King and failed, but was let off in exchange for giving his baby son Geki to the childless king. Not too long after, he once again attempted a revolt (using the loss of Geki to galvanize others), challenging the king to duel. The king spared him when he lost... but he then immediately got himself killed via Backstab Backfire. His last words to his older son Burai were "Avenge me". This was what lead to Burai and the other Zyurangers starting as enemies.
      • There's another black knight, appearing in front of Geki and Dora Narcissus, who starts attacking Geki and delivering a solid Breaking Speech that Geki is too hung up on saving Burai at cost of the welfare of his other friends and the people of Earth, until Geki delivers a Shut Up, Hannibal! and defeats him... only to reveal that it's Goushi, who's trying to wake Geki up from his Heroic BSOD, just as planned.
    • The first instance would be the aptly named "Dark Knight" in Kagaku Sentai Dynaman, a knight clad in black that alternates between attacking the Dynamen or the Jashinka Empire. In the end, he is revealed to be the exiled Prince Megiddo and assumes the Big Bad position.

    Mythology 
  • Older Than Print Ur Example: The Black Knight of Arthurian legend.
    • There's actually at least two. Arthur killed one, Sir Gareth got another.
  • The Green Knight from Sir Gawain and the Green Knight also appears to fit the trope, but with every instance of "black" changed to "green". Except that the Green Knight subverts it by turning out to be an pretty good guy that just wanted to test Gawain's honour.
  • Lancelot had many aspects of a Black Knight, at least in that he didn't want to be recognized; he often would borrow other people's armor and weapons so that nobody could tell it was him while wandering around and performing heroic deeds/picking fights with random people. Black armor was one of his earliest disguises.
  • Mordred is sometimes portrayed like this too, Depending on the Writer (usually in modern version, to emphasize the fact that he was a traitor; modern depictions tend to make him look evil for dramatic effect more than anything else).

    Pinball 

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons features the playable Blackguard prestige class, which is a kind of always-evil fighter with some divine magic spells. A possible background for a Blackguard is to be a fallen Paladin.
    • In some French sources, "Blackguard" is translated "Chevalier noir", which is the French for "Black Knight".
    • The Paladin of Tyranny variant of the base Paladin would also fit here. The Paladin of Slaughter, not so much.
  • Magic: The Gathering
  • Warhammer 40,000 has no shortage of soldiers in black Power Armor, from the genocidally zealous Black Templars to the heroic but shadowy warriors of the Raven Guard, but the ones who fit this trope best are the Chaos Space Marines of the Black Legion. Many are former Sons of Horus who had their colors and name deliberately changed to distance them from their defeat at the end of the Horus Heresy, while the rest are Chaos Marines from other legions who repainted their armor to show allegiance to their new master, Abbadon the Despoiler.
    • Among the loyalists, those Space Marines who are sent to join the Death Watch paint their armor black as a gesture of brotherhood with their new chapter - save for their original chapter's markings on their right pauldron, both as a point of pride and so not to anger their armor's machine spirit. The exception are the so-called Black Shields who have chosen to completely sever themselves from their previous chapter, either because they are the last surviving member, or for darker reasons...
  • Exalted: First and Forsaken Lion, who is somewhere between Darth Vader and Megatron. He can't dismantle his armor because his terrible Neverborn masters welded it to his very soul.
    • A number of Abyssals would also qualify, mainly the ones who take the title "deathknight" literally.
  • Warhammer: There are lots of examples, but the term "Black Knight" itself is used for the undead Wight cavalry of the Vampire Counts army (who probably fitted the classic version of the trope more when they were alive). Also:
    • Archaon, Lord of the End Times, is a particularly destructive example, and he has a retinue of less-powerful but still scary knights known as the Swords of Chaos. When one is leading the other, the only two possible solutions are to shoot the hell out of them from a distance, or feed them a constant stream of weak units so that they don't utterly maul your heavy hitters. In general, Warriors of Chaos from the same setting tend to have this aesthetic. In a clever subversion, they are the exact opposite of Knights. They are in fact human barbarian chieftains and warriors coming from a demonic Norse warrior society. Another subversion, they don't even have to be black. The colour of their armour varies according to their religious affiliations, varying from black to red to purple to green to blue. These colours actually symbolize which Chaos God they devote themselves to, with the colour Black suggesting that they worship the Chaos Gods as a pantheon.
    • There's also the Blood Dragons, a sect of honourable and totally awesome vampire warriors who wear black scary-ass armour (though more often it's painted blood red) and spent their free time traveling around challenging mighty beasts and warriors to battles and drinking their blood. Their leader, Abhorash, fits this trope to a tee.
    • Dark Elf Cold One Knights fit here too, being essentially the Elf version (and riding giant velociraptor-esque dinosaurs, rather than horses). The Black Guard of Naggarond are similar, being an order of sinister black-armoured noble warriors in service to a very evil liege-lord.

    Video Games 
  • The Black Knight from Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance. There's a very good reason why he's the page image: he happens to hit nearly every single characteristic associated with this trope. He looks badass, sounds badass, wields a huge sword, is always accompanied by ominous Crowning Music of Awesome, is the second-in-command to the two different BigBads of both the game and its sequel, survives having a castle collapse on him and is the catalyst for the hero's quest of vengeance. His identity is heavily implied through battle and text in the sequel Radiant Dawn, and is ultimately revealed a few chapters before his helmet comes off as General Zelgius.
    • The Black Knight's compatriot General Bertram is also a classic Black Knight. Dressed all in black armor and riding astride a black horse, he speaks only in hisses, has a Mysterious Past that is only hinted at, is armed with the life-draining Runesword, and keeps his face concealed behind his visor. In the sequel he's revealed to be Princess (now Queen) Elincia's Uncle Renning, courtesy of some brainwashing from Izuka.
    • Before that Black Knight, the first Fire Emblem had Camus, leader of the Sable Ordernote  of the Grustian army. An Anti-Villain who only fights the heroes out of loyalty to his kingdom, he is widely regarded as the most powerful warrior alive — and backs up that reputation in game. There's also Sirius in the next book, a mysterious masked knight who is actually Camus, having survived his supposed death.
    • In Fire Emblem: Seisen no Keifu, the second generation of characters has Ares, the son of the first generation's legendary knight Eldigan. He sports black-ish armor, wields the demon blade Mystletainn, holds a grudge against Seliph, and starts out as a mercenary serving the enemy (and eventually defects). Their lineage can be traced back to Hezul, one of the Twelve Crusaders and also a heroic Black Knight.
    • Tear Ring Saga has Zeek the Dark Knight. Formerly a knight of Barge who was captured and enslaved by the Zoans during their conquest and eventually emotionally broken into serving among them, he eventually defects to your side. Except not. In reality he's a Heel Face Mole and actually a Zoan himself, albeit a Anti-Villain as he was really enslaved and tortured as a child because he was a Zoan. He's one of the game's best units and is a Lightning Bruiser.
      • You also recruit Sun and Mintz, two members of the Canaan Black Knights, though Sun doesn't start out in the Black Knight class and has to promote from her mediocre Rook Knight class first.
    • Fire Emblem Awakening has Cherche's son Gerome, who gives himself an image of darkness in his black armor and has an aloof, stoic demeanor towards everyone. (In reality, Gerome is an awkward Ineffectual Loner who deeply misses his dead parents but emotionally distances from their younger selves.) On another note, this game introduces a class called "Dark Knight", which is a mounted unit that can wield swords and Anima tomes.
  • AdventureQuest Worlds
    • The special versions of Artix and Sepulchure Figures have black armor. and they show up in Gravelyn's Dream. Later the Doomblade takes control of Sepulchure, changing his armor from red to black. This makes it likely that Artix at some point will gain black armor.
    • There is also a boss called The Black Knight, whose armor you can get your hands on.
    • The Death Knight class, and quite a few armors allow a player to be one of these.
    • Sir Roderick of Clan Grimreaver is the Big Bad of the Tournament of Heroes and definitely looks the part. He's not above backstabbing enemies in his bid for Princess Brittany's hand and King Alteon's throne, and ultimately has to be defeated by the Hero.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time has a fight against a Black Knight figure (except with gold armor) in the Spirit Temple near the end of the game, as a personal servant to the Big Bad of the dungeon, Twinrova. He is revealed upon defeat to be...a girl — and more specifically, Nabooru, who had been kidnapped by Twinrova.
  • Sarevok, the Big Bad of the first Baldur's Gate fits this trope very well. He wields a huge sword, and is clad in spiked black armor with a horned full helm revealing only his glowing eyes. His mysterious connection with the protagonist is that he is the player's demonic half-brother. In the expansion for the second game he can join the player's party, though his Black Knight appearance is significantly toned down.
  • The dark knight classes in Final Fantasy III and Final Fantasy X-2
  • Golbez of Final Fantasy IV could not fit this trope any better. His theme song is titled "Golbez, Clad in Dark". He doesn't actually ever use a Sword, but prefer his magic instead. Though he's perfectly capable of picking up a sword in The After Years.
    • Although Cecil, later a paladin, also fits this early in the game.
  • ExDeath, the antagonist from Final Fantasy V, although like Golbez above he's presented in-story as a magic user (though he does have a sword and does use it in in-game battles). He also deviates a bit from this trope since his armor is actually light blue with gold trim.
  • The Dark Lord from Final Fantasy Adventure. Interestingly, he shares his sprites with Final Fantasy III's dark knights.
  • Black Shadow of the F-Zero series. Quite silly for a racing game, but brilliant for an Affectionate Parody of western super heroes and or lucha libre.
  • One of the most memorable scenes in 1983's Dragon's Lair was the duel against The Black Knight, making it the oldest video game example. The Black Knight also appeared in the animated series.
  • The Black Knight in Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles. His identity is never revealed, strictly speaking, but the player can piece together the fact that he's the father of the boy who eventually kills him, unbeknownst to either of them. He's also The Berserker and an amnesiac.
  • Yuber from the Suikoden series dresses in full black armour, is hinted to have a major role in the overall story and remains frustratingly enigmatic. He removes his armour for the third game (ironically so players wouldn't recognize him) but remains an enigma.
    • A rare good example: Pesmerga, Yuber's opposite number, who fights on the heroes side but is no less of a Black Knight.
  • In World of Warcraft almost any Death Knight qualifies as a Black Knight, as does the fallen paladin in Stratholme, and almost all blood elf blood knights. The meme is best exemplified by Highlord Darion Mograine however. And.. you know.. the.. um.. Black Knight.
  • The Darkshine Knight from Seiken Densetsu 3 fits the trope perfectly, being The Dragon of one of the game's three potential Big Bads, the Dragon Emperor. He even has a literal Luke, I Am Your Father moment for bonus points!
  • Fallout 2 has secret agent Frank Horrigan, doing the dirty work for the Enclave. He comes with a suit of custom power armor too big for a Super Mutant and fully automatic plasma rifle.
    • The Enclave soldiers as a whole wear black power armor with Rage Helms and often Shoulders of Doom.
    • Fallout: New Vegas has Legate Lanius, whose armor isn't black but serves the same function. Part of his backstory is that he wears his helmet because most of his face was torn off in a fight with his own clan—when they decided that surrender was preferable to dying to a man.
  • Revan of Knights of the Old Republic fits this trope almost perfectly, the only exception being that the player never actually faces him, which is explained in the big reveal when his identity is revealed to be the player himself.
  • The Black Knight in, uhh, Sonic and the Black Knight is King Arthur gone evil. Except not really, for he is but an illusion conjured up as part of Merlina's Evil Plan.
    • Ironically enough, while it seems like he wears black, The Black Knight actually wears gold armor.
    • Sir Lancelot also counts since he is a knight in black armor
    • And because he's Shadow the Hedgehog 's King Arthur expy.
  • Meta Knight, particularly in his debut Kirby's Adventure, fits this quite well, though the black (or dark blue) comes from his skin.
  • Gares from the first Ogre Battle.
  • Death's Hand from Jade Empire is a Black Knight IN FANTASY CHINA.
  • Death Knight Cador from Brigandine
  • The Black Knight from Final Fantasy II, who is rather obviously One of your teammates from earlier on in the game with a slight shadow over his face
  • The black, recurring stealth bomber in 19XX: The Battle Against Destiny.
  • Prince Neidhart the Black from Romancing SaGa plays with this trope. He's The Stoic Prince of Rosalia who goes into battle wearing a full suit of ornate armor... and he's one of the good guys, despite his cold demeanor. However, he can have a What the Hell, Hero? moment by suddenly slaying the Dragon Knight, if you don't take steps to prevent it.
  • The Black Knight is the Big Bad of the Dark Castle series.
  • Oswald the Shadow Knight from Odin Sphere goes without a helmet but otherwise has the "terrifying, pitiless butcher" part down pat- he's probably the most feared warrior in the world. At least at first- after a Heroic BSOD and discovering The Power of Love he lightens up a bit, but still wears the spiky black armour and wields the sword infused with the power of the underworld. As he's a playable character, he could be the poster boy for Dark Is Not Evil.
  • The Black Knight In Dungeon Keeper is one of the few instances where they actually work for you.
  • In Mitsumete Knight, Wolfgario the Ravager, leader of the enemy army Valpha-Valaharian. Wearing full armor, and his identity being a mystery that's crucial for the plot? Check. Speaking with an imposing tone and looking and sounding badass and cool? Check. Wielding a sword? Check, and it's a BFS. Ridiculously powerful? Check, he's the strongest enemy in the whole game. Major antagonist who's not really evil? Check. The only single difference is that he wears red armor instead of black.
  • In Conquests Of Camelot, King Arthur has to joist the Black Knight to save Sir Gawain. Well, he doesn't HAVE to.
  • The Dark Knights in Mabinogi.
  • The Dark Knights in Disgaea: Hour of Darkness are Animated Armor suits with fire coming out of their heads, but the Executioners are the only ones that actually dress in black. Killing one allows you to make your own.
  • The Legend of Dragoon features the Black Monster, a mysterious shadowy figure in black armor who burned down the protagonist's hometown; naturally, said protagonist has sworn revenge. It's later revealed that the Black Monster is in fact Rose, the woman who taught Dart how to use his Dragoon powers.
  • In Dragon Age: Origins – Awakening, any character that wears the Armor of the Sentinel will look the part of a Black Knight. The flavor text implies that the armor itself may have somehow been tainted when its original wearer slew the Archdemon Dumat.
  • The Gatekeeper in Prince of Persia Classic, who replaces the Politician of the original.
  • Jack in Radiata Stories can find and equip a black suit of armor which gives him this appearance, complete with Spikes of Villainy, Badass Cape, and a face-covering helmet.
  • Soul Calibur Big Bad Nightmare is an animated suit of dark blue armour.
    • ...who is actually called the Azure Knight. Funnily enough, he's an evil version of the game's resident paladin Siegfried.
  • Maximo features a few Black Knights (Animated Armor variety) as enemies in the final few levels. They come complete with a resonant intonation of "No man shall pass." To add to the Shout-Out, they even fall to pieces when they're defeated.
  • A black knight appears early on in Castlevania: Lords of Shadow. This knight is a soul-eating golem built out of the corpse of a former mute murderer, built to protect his creator's daughter. As such, despite his menacing appearance he's hardly evil, but you end up having to fight him anyway, after the protagonist kills his ward while under the influence of an evil mask.
  • It is possible to both fight and dress as a Black Knight in Kingdom of Loathing. Wearing the outfit gives you a total boost of +21 to your Muscle.
  • Black Knight Lord Zain from Half-Minute Hero serves as the number-two to Big Bad Evil Sorcerer Noire, and a powerful opponent to the Hero...powerful enough to blast him and the Time Goddess all the way across the continent after his first defeat.
  • When you think about it, you are one in Conduit 2, seeing as the Destroyer Armor is all black and red armor covering you from head to toe. The concept art also depicts it with an energy sword that doesn't show up in the actual game. Also, the Mooks can Shout-Out "You're not my father! You're not my father!!"
  • Leon of Yggdra Union, although he's not really mysterious. He is also recruitable in its prequel, Blaze Union.
  • In the original campaign Neverwinter Nights, the female Paladin Aribeth progressivly becomes one after her fiancé's unjust execution and is a boss in the later parts of the game. She appears again, after her death, as a ghost in the expansion pack Hordes of the Underdark, where the player can recruit her and make her shift back to becoming again a Paladin or remain a Blackguard.
  • Black Knights in Dark Souls usually serve as a sort of optional minibosses, being fast and very tough, especially at low levels, and being slightly off the main path. They are also all Animated Armor, their occupants having been burned alive when their lord Gwyn linked the flame.
    • There is also Black Iron Tarkus, a heroic and silent example, who can be summoned to help you fight the Iron Golem at the end of Sen's Fortress. He's a super-badass who is well known for being able to solo the fight by himself.
  • Dirk Gassenarl in Valkyria Chronicles II. He's ridiculously powerful, rarely speaks in battle, and serves as The Dragon to Baldren Gassenarl. In a true Darth Vader-esque fashion, he's Avan's long lost brother, Leon Hardins— or what's left of his shattered psyche.
  • The entirety of the Calamity Ravens in Valkyria Chronicles III fit this trope in spirit, but their elites are actually clad in very tough armor that are painted black most of the time. They make V2 armor looks like cardboard pieces.
  • In Mount & Blade you can actually be a black knight, with some editing of the equipment list. A full set of black armour is on said list, but not marked as "sellable", meaning you won't find it unless you change the relevant flag. The black armour is the strongest and heaviest in the game, and you can wear it while riding the best horse in the game, an armoured charger, which is black.
    • Black knights themselves used to roam the lands in older patches, but got removed because they kicked everyone's ass, even the kings' themselves. As having a king taken prisoner by a random black knight tended to throw the game seriously off balance, they had to be Dummied Out.
  • Tales of Phantasia has Mars, a minor villain at the beginning of the game who fits the trope's physical description well, also intent on unsealing Dhaos. Travelling to the future however reveals that black seems to be Euclid knighthood's standard armour colour.
  • In the second half of Beyond The Beyond, the party is stalked by a mysterious knight clad in black armor. He eventually catches up to them and challenges them to a duel. Once the battle is over, the knight's identity is revealed as Annie's older brother Percy, who was thought to have been Left for Dead in an earlier attack. If you don't attack him during the battle, he'll (re)join the party. Otherwise, he dies.
  • In the Infinity Blade series, a Dark Knight acts as The Dragon to Raidriar the God King. In the sequel, the protagonist Siris is able to obtain the Vile Armor set, which lets him fulfill this trope in appearance. In his past life as Ausar the Terrible, he also fulfilled this trope in spirit.
  • Max Payne 3 alludes to the idea with the Cracha Preto Hired Guns. The name is Portuguese for "black badge", and according to supplementary materials they used to be lawmen who blacked out their unit insignia before going on Vigilante Man sprees.
  • The Necromancer from the Castle Crashers, The Dragon to the Evil Wizard. Rather than the standard Evil Sorceror kind of necromancer, this one is a Black Magic Knight. He is clad in menacing black armor and fights much like a player character (whenever not summoning hordes of undead minions, of course). One DLC actually makes him a playable character.
  • The Dark Templars from Age of Conan are like this. They're heavy armored warriors who can channel black magic provided by demons or dark gods.
  • Sly Cooper: Thieves In Time features a character of the trope name as the fourth chapter's villain. A towering machine in the guise of a man armed with technology unseen in his time, he conquered medieval-era England alongside an army of mechanical beasts. He's actually controlled by somebody. Exactly whom that is, it's quite the surprise.
  • Although more purple than black, Abaddon has this look going for him in Dota 2, complete with spells based around death. Appropriately, Abaddon was a Death Knight in the original WC 3 mod.
  • Rauss of Legaia II: Duel Saga is this and a Blood Knight - clad in ebon armor, he returns from the dead via ancient magic for the chance to fight the heroes and his former master, Kazan.
  • Kagura Mutsuki of BlazBlue is a heroic version. Of course, he has a huge sword and black motifs for his outfit, but he also has an enigmatic agenda, and is very strong, strong enough to hold his own against Azrael of all people.
  • Might and Magic VI has a category of enemy creatures that fits well here, being dark-armoured beings identified as knights in name. Even the weakest variant, the Death Knight, is relatively powerful, and the strongest, the Cuisinart (presumably named for their ability to slice and dice enemies) can be pretty darn scary at the level you're expected to start facing off with them, and not just because they have Fear as a special ability.
  • These are your final and toughest opponents, along with the undead mages and the fireball-throwing succubi, in the original Diablo as you close in on the title archdemon in Hell. They are what happened to Lachdanan and his knights as a result of the Dying Curse placed upon them by their mad king Leoric, who Lachdanan himself was forced to slay.
  • Once upon a time in RuneScape, Black Knights were the strongest enemy in the days of Classic. Now they are mostly threats to low to mid-level players. Players can choose to become this themselves by wearing Black-grade equipment, complete with Spikes of Villainy, but because it is not very useful equipment for higher-end players and does not scale with levels, the only reason to use it is either due to being a lower-level player or pure Rule of Cool. The Malevolent, Torva, and Obsidian armors are considerably more effective and also fit the mold of the Black Knight in regards to power, rarity, and fearsomeness.
  • Shovel Knight has the aptly-named Black Knight.
  • Doku from the Ninja Gaiden reboot series.

    Visual Novels 
  • The dragonslayer in Dra Koi is clad from head to foot in powerful black armor and never truly speaks because it's just a suit of armor to be wielded by the chosen hero whith this hero being the Protagonist.
    • The Protagonist later becomes a Black Knight after defeating the armor.

    Webcomics 
  • In Questof Camelittle, the main villain is a Black Knight who calls himself "Big Bad." He's also served by four other Black Knights, named as the Sloth Knight, the Blast Knight, the Spike Knight, and the Assault Knight.
  • The adult-themed fantasy comic Sam The Black Knight has a college student from Earth perform a Body Swap with an armored dark overlord in a Medieval European Fantasy world.
  • Melleck Xaos from the webcomic The Wotch.
  • An arc of Tales of the Questor has Quentyn traveling with a knight dressed in menacing black armor, with the narration stating that he expects his companion to leave him to die in the wilderness soon. Later it turns out that he's a squire wearing his deceased master's enchanted Powered Armor, who is guiding Q to a dragon to clear his name. And he comes back to help.

    Web Original 
  • In The Gamers Alliance, Wulgar and his successor Ulrik both wear black armor and act as foes of various heroes.

    Western Animation 
  • Family Guy parodied this up the yin-yang in its "Mr. Saturday Knight" episode. Particularly memorable is the scene where The Black Knight shaves his beard while still wearing his helmet.
    • He cuts himself shaving like this.
  • In the cartoon series Arthur And The Square Knights Of The Round Table, the Black Knight was lackey to the witch Morgana le Fay, and always managed to ruin her evil schemes through his incompetent bungling.
  • The Fright Knight from Danny Phantom.
  • The Classic Disney Short "Knight for a Day", which stars Goofy, Goofy, and more Goofy, has the good Goofy jousting with a Black Knight, Sir Cumfrence.
  • In "Knighty Knight Bugs", Bugs Bunny fights a Black Knight who turns out to be Yosemite Sam in armor.
  • Generator Rex has a character called Black Knight whom did not wear armor Until the final where she gains a dark armored look
  • In one episode of The Simpsons Bart plays an MMORPG and his absurdly powerful, evil character is called the Shadow Knight.
  • Lord Spottlebottom is referred to as "the Black Knight" in the Animated Adaptation of The Smurfs and the Magic Flute, but he's simply Johan's jousting opponent, and after he's defeated he says that he should've taken up dancing.

    Real Life 
  • The knights of the Kingdom of France during the hundred years' war had their armor painted black. The english had theirs painted red at the same period.
  • Edward of Woodstock, Prince of Wales, son of Edward III of England is known as The Black Prince and is known for his martial skills. It's thought that he earned this name by wearing black armor, but it's not clear, and the name only appears well after his death.
  • The Knights Hospitallers typically wore black or very dark armour on their campaigns. Given their rampant badassery, they were true Black Knights.
  • 16th century reiters were mercenary cavalrymen, usually of German origin ("reiter" is German for "rider"), wearing a black heavy armour and armed with two pistols, a dagger, and a sword. They gain a reputation of being high quality and merciless warriors, being nicknamed "black riders" and "devil riders".
  • The US Army academy's college football team is nicknamed the Black Knights. They have a long-standing Interservice Rivalry with Navy's Midshipmen, but in keeping with the tendency for a black knight to be a villain and for the villain to lose, they rarely come out of their clashes on top.


Attack! Attack! Attack!Knight In Shining TropesThe Cape
    Sir Index of TropesBoogie Knights
BlackfaceTropes in BlackBlack Magic
Black ComedyWe Are Not Alone IndexBlackmail
Black CloakVillainsBlack Shirt
Black CloakObviously EvilBlack Speech
BishōnenOlder Than PrintBolivian Army Ending
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