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- Most elves in Magic: The Gathering are this to some extent.
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- Robin Hood is probably the archetypal ranger, one of England's best archers and no slouch with a sword either.
- "I am the Lorax, I speak for the trees..."
- Tolkien's Legendarium:
- The Ents were created for this very purpose, according to The Silmarillion. As the Shepherds of the Trees, their main reason for existence is to prevent humanoids from abusing forests, and to prevent trees from getting homicidal.
- Despite the name, the original fantasy Rangers, those among whom Aragorn lived in The Lord of the Rings, weren't this trope, being more partisans/marchwardens/monster hunters than guardians of nature.
- The Elves often fit this trope to a lesser degree, being part of the reason why travelers are advised not to stray from the marked path. That said, this is not necessarily out of concern for nature, but because their own territories are concealed within the forests and they don't like uninvited visitors.
- Mercedes Lackey is very fond of this trope.
- In her Heralds of Valdemar series, the Tayledras scouts fill this role, keeping people away from the dangerous Pelligras Forest, killing dangerous warped monsters like coldrake, and keeping the inoffensive magical creatures safe from other people and from magical threats.
- In her Obsidian and Enduring Flame trilogies, the elven cities are protected by scouts of this nature.
- Played with in The Wise Man's Fear. Fae archers stalk the forest surrounding the Cthaeh to kill anyone who talks to it, since it's omniscient and picks the ending to every conversation that causes the most chaos in the world.
- The Witcher's short stories provide a dark Deconstruction to this trope. There are Rangers who fit the general description, being master bowmen and spending most of their time in the forests — but they spend it hunting elves, dryads, rusalkas and other non-humans, some in revenge of their kin who were murdered by the Scoia'tael terrorists, others simply for the reward or out of racist hatred.
- Dungeons & Dragons:
- Druids, generally speaking, have this trope as their job description.
- The Ranger class and many of its five million variants from all versions of Dungeons & Dragons also fits, depending on how you play it. There are a ton of prestige classes from 3rd Edition that are all about defending the forest.
- Many of the primal classes in Dungeons & Dragons 4th edition, including the aforementioned Druids and Rangers, also count, especially the Warden.
- The Wood Elves from Warhammer. They're extremely protective of their forests, and will murder anyone who tries to cut it down. There's a specific class, the Waywatchers, for whom this trope is the entire job description.
- The Elvish Rangers from Battle for Wesnoth, and just about all Elves. And also the Woses.
- Final Fantasy:
- Final Fantasy V's Ranger class uses bows, wears green, and summons animals to fight alongside it.
- Final Fantasy VIII: Rinoa is a Mythology Gag to the job class and a shout out to this trope: She's a crossbow-using fighter who fights with a dog and lives in a city built in the middle of a giant forest.
- In Gauntlet the Elf Ranger wears green, protects the forest, and uses a bow.
- Wood Elves and Grand Elves in Heroes of Might and Magic fall under this. The factions they are part of — the Sorceress' Town, Rampart, Preserve, and Sylvan in I and II, III, IV, and V respectively — generally follow this rule with their philosophies.
- Dragon Age:
- The Dalish elves have this aesthetic, although they're more territorial than custodial and never stay in one place for long if they can help it. A Dalish Warden is introduced keeping humans away from their camp, can get lines reflecting this archetype, and bow use is encouraged by the provision of better quality equipment in the Dalish origin story.
- There is also the "Ranger" specialization for the Rogue class, which gives the character a +5 resistance to natural attacks and allows them to summon predatory animals to attack their enemies.
- Dark Souls has the Forest Hunters, effectively The Wild Hunt, guarding Darkroot Forest and the grave of Abysswalker Artorias.
- Rift has the Ranger rogue soul and the Beastmaster warrior soul.
- The Ranger class in Neverwinter Nights and Neverwinter Nights 2 due to the games being technically in the Dungeons & Dragons universe.
- Anden Goodmanner (and potentially the Princess, if leveled as such) in A Dance with Rogues. Anden is a clear, classic example of this, as he's an archer, who wears green clothing, an excellent tracker, feels comfortable in forests and laments their mistreatment. He does possess a few differences in that he isn't hostile to people or self-appointed as a Ranger, but rather is part of a guild that maintains the safety of the forested roads to Betancuria and seems to observe the condition of the woods. Anden is also a human, instead of an elf, and what little is seen of the guild seems to be composed of humans as well.
- The Ranger class from Majesty. Although their main function is as Bold Explorers who dispel the Fog of War, they also vastly prefer nature and wilderness to the city, have herblore enough to poison weapons or make healing potions from the plants your other heroes sow, and will team up with the highly anti-civilization Barbarians when they're present. Their guilds are mobile campsites, and once the whole place is explored they'll go off to more wild regions. They also wear green and fit the Archer Archetype. (Although it's downplayed, as they're more preferers of untamed forest than active guardians of it.)
- According to their lores in Dota 2, both Traxex (Drow Ranger) and Lyralei (Windranger) are protectors/guardians of the forests. They're also very deadly with bows.
- Gyromancer has Laska Terrado, a royal ranger who is assigned to help the mage Rivel track down a group of rogue knights in a large, magical forest. When she's killed there, she's revived in short order by the spirit of the forest, which considers her at least a potential protector.
- Voden from Gigantic is a "forest-lord" who protects the wilderness from anyone who would despoil it. His methods seems to mostly involve shooting people with arrows and poisoning them with toxic spores.
- Thorn from the Science Fantasy Battleborn checks on the boxes for a typical forest elf with her bow and arrows, and adherence to nature except she's more wild jungle than peaceful forest.
- The Elder Scrolls
- The Bosmer (Wood Elves) of Valenwood basically have this trope as a cultural hat. They are masterful archers and are bound by the "Green Pact", an agreement they made with their patron deity long ago to never harm or allow harm to come to the forests of Valenwood.
- The Imperial Legion has a variation in the Imperial Foresters. During peacetime, they can be found in Cyrodiil's forests. During wartime, they serve as archers and scouts.
- Dellyn Goblinslayer in Goblins was presumably this (Ranger class, Bow and Sword, half-tree), but he seems to be more inclined to city life now. Then again, he agreed to go adventuring again, so...
- Stand Still, Stay Silent: In that Plague Zombie infested world in which Raising the Steaks applies to all non-feline mammals, army scouts have the duty of killing the Plague Zombies in forests surrounding human dwellings to help protect the non-infected animals and humans alike. Lalli is a night one by profession, taking the shifts during which the infected individuals are the most active.
- Roger's Rangers during the mid 18th century colonial North America whose mission was to protect British settlers from raiding Native Americans and their French allies. In the North American wilderness, the European style of standing armies and linear warfare did not work in the woods because the Native Americans did not play by the same rules. They would fight using ambush and Hit-and-Run Tactics. The concept of the "Ranger" was to take frontiersmen who are able to live in the wilderness and adopt the Native American's guerrilla tactics and Beat Them at Their Own Game. The Rangers did two things in history: they patrol and they raid. The idea of "Ranging" or being a borderer means protecting the boundaries of your nation or your home.