Jousting Lance

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The jousting lance is the iconic weapon of medieval knights and is the Weapon of Choice for many fictional characters with a knightly theme, especially if they also wear heavy armor (be it plate armor or a futuristic version), carry a large shield, and ride a horse or its modern/speculative fiction equivalent such as a Cool Bike, dragon, or Humongous Mecha. If a user of this kind of lance has a Rival or Arch-Enemy, expect the latter to be given the same weapon so they can settle their issues with an old-fashioned joust. Swords, axes, and warhammers all have their place, but nothing quite beats a big pointy object designed to penetrate your target by charging at high speed.

The modern manifestations of this trope are sometimes characters who use the jousting lance as their main or only weapon even when on foot, the implication being that they can run or fly as fast as a war horse.note  Expect to see Slice-and-Dice Swordsmanship with or without modifications to the weapon's basic structure — which is far more appropriate for stabbing — but lance masters can often jab with impossible speed and armor-piercing force even when one-handing the weapon. The epitome of this artistic license is the character whose lance is effectively a rapier of BFS proportions.

The average fictional jousting lance is much wider and pointier than those of the Middle Ages and Renaissance, resembling nothing so much as a giant conical spike on a stick, and often has fins or spikes lining the curved surface. You might see an engraved drill-like spiral pattern. In real life designs like this would make it too heavy and unbalanced to use as a lance, and that kind of point would either clinch uselessly upon hitting armor or penetrate too deeply, making the lance impossible to dislodge. At least it looks really cool, and the practical issues might matter less if they were being wielded by Humongous Mecha or humans in Power Armor. Lances are also often depicted as multi-use weapons, where in real life they were somewhat disposable. Wooden lances might break on impact and would become too unwieldy in a tight melee, at which point a knight would discard his lance and draw a short weapon such as a sword or mace. See Jousting Lance for more historical details.

Characters with centaur-like forms are effectively always 'mounted', which makes preference for this weapon a bit more plausible. Other weapons would still be more practical in most circumstances as they were for Real Life human cavalry.

Notes:
  • Academic sources often refer to spears and similar weapons as 'lances', especially when they are too large to be used as throwing weapons. See Blade on a Stick for those. This article is about jousting lances with or without modifications to the basic design.
  • Drills are often used for jousting and Air Jousting in fiction due to the way they work but those examples should go under This Is a Drill unless they are clearly jousting lances with drill mechanisms.


Examples:

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    Anime and Manga 
  • Berserk: Being a Medieval/Renaissance fantasy adventure, Berserk has its share of lance-play:
    • Griffith's Band of the Hawk mercenary company is mostly composed of medium and light cavalry, wearing half or three-quarter armor and wielding swords or light lances/spears. They're often going against much more heavily armed and armored opponents such as the Tudor Empire's Black Ram Iron Lance Heavy Cavalry who—as their name indicates—wield enormous iron lances and ride in full armor on armored horses. Their unstoppable lance charge almost drove the army of Midland from the field; It was only Griffith's surprise attack aided by Guts' armor-crushing BFS that saved the day, thus elevating Griffith in the King's sight.
    • Sir Locus, famous as the Moonlight Knight and commander of the New Band of the Hawk's cavalry, is a lancer first and foremost. He's an accomplished jouster in tournaments, but because of his Apostle powers he is even deadlier in war. He and his demon knights can make their lances extend and curve to home in on the heads of enemies, so that they each skewer a dozen at a time when their charge hits. As if that weren't enough, their true forms are centaur-like monsters that give a mighty charge—Locus' seeming to be made of gleaming metal. Actually, Locus' lance turns into a double-bladed sword when he transforms and he uses that more for cutting.
  • Claymore: Isley, the Abyssal One who rules the North, adopts his centaur-like true form for serious battles. His arms turn into bows and arrows for ranged combat, but for fighting up close they become a shield and conical lance that inflicts devastating damage because of the acceleration provided by his equine lower body.
  • Many Britannian Knightmare Frame pilots in Code Geass use lances due to the aristocratic, knightly pedigree of the Britannian military and their fondness for references to Arthurian legend. Princess Cornelia and her Gloucester pilots in particular favor close combat with large conical lances, which have a ring of spikes for good measure. As another example, Luciano Bradley's custom Knightmare Frame Percival has a right arm that can produce a lance made of energy.
  • High School D×D: Vizor, the rogue devil that the occult club fights when Rias takes Issei to watch his first hunt, has the upper body of a woman and the lower body of a giant dog, wielding a lance in each hand. She is so large compared to these lances that she uses them like swords rather than, well, lances, but she is dispatched quickly by the senior club members. Rias explains to Issei that devils train in one of several chess-themed fighting classes such as knight with their own strengths and weaknesses, and that even rogue devils tend to stick with the class they were originally given.
  • Most Crossbone Vanguard mobile suits in Mobile Suit Gundam F91 and its manga sequel Mobile Suit Crossbone Gundam wield the Shot Lancer. In addition to being a throw-back to medieval days (the Vanguard styles themselves as knights), the lances serve a practical purpose, being giant Pile Bunkers intended to disable enemy mobile suits without triggering a reactor explosion — which would be disastrous inside a closed space colony. To extend their function, Shot Lancers can fire the "cone" like a giant dart (and tend to have spares) and mount heavy machineguns around the base for ranged firepower. Thirty In-Universe years later in Mobile Suit Victory Gundam, the Earth Federation introduces the Javelin, which wields a gun-shaped version of the Shot Lancer, making its true function more obvious.
  • The third generation of Mobile Suit Gundam AGE features the AGE-2 Dark Hound, wielding a DODS Lancer. It's essentially the aforementioned Shot Lancer with a pair of DODS beam rifles in place of the Shot Lancer's machine guns.
  • The second season of Mobile Suit Gundam 00 introduces grunt machines using lances with integrated beam machine guns. Unlike their inspiration these are traditional lances without the Pile Bunker. As per the trope description some pilots are shown swinging them at enemies but most sensibly use the weapons as firearms.
  • The Mobile Suit Gundam Wing remake manga Glory of the Losers gives Tallgeese a heat lance, designed to break through the Virgos' planet defensor Force Fields. It also fits with Tallgeese's overall theme as an armored knight.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans: Gaelio Bauduin, an heir of one of the ruling families of the solar system, uses an appropriately aristocratic gun-lance as his signature mobile suit weapon. His Schwalbe Graze's version is simple (basically a stripped-down, short-barrelled version of the standard 120mm Graze rifle with a gigantic lance-shaped bayonet), while the Kimaris, naturally, has a fancier design - the Gungnir, a proper jousting lance with two 120mm guns built into the handguard.
  • In Bleach, the Arrancar Nel Tu has a centaur Super Mode in which she gains a lance.
  • In One Piece Shura Skyrider wields the Heat Javelin, which is a Flaming Lance. Other notable Lance users include Gan Fall (who has a knight motif), the Whitebeard Pirates Commander Speed Jiru and the New World pirate Eipoda, who combines this with Double Weapon.
  • Erza's Ceremonial Armor from Fairy Tail has a Lance that has thus far served as an Ornamental Weapon (and a flagpole). However, as she is a Multi-Melee Master she presumably knows how to use it.
  • The King Kittan and its upgraded Space version from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann used lances.
  • Episode 34 of Yes! Pretty Cure 5 has Karen joust with Hadenya while on horseback using lance of water.

    Comic Books 
  • Marvel Comics have several characters wielding this kind of lance:
    • Most bearers of the Black Knight name.
    • The one villainous Black Knight and the Dreadknight both use a lance filled with wacky Mad Scientist weaponry.

     Film 
  • A Knight's Tale is the story of a commoner who pretends to be a knight so he can participate in jousting, so naturally there is a lot of jousting with lances.
  • Excalibur featured a scene in which two knights jousted for Guinevere's honor.

     Literature 
  • In The Hedge Knight by George R.R. Martin, Duncan, the protagonist is forced to take part in a Trial by Combat involving seven knights on either side. One of the knights insists they use jousting lances for the initial charge, as they're longer than war lances, so will hopefully knock their opponents off their horses before they close and give them the advantage.
  • Real Quick Flash Fic has a robot using a high-tech version.

     Live Action TV 
  • Game of Thrones: Ser Loras Tyrell is an expert at using this weapon. He has beaten notable knights such as Ser Jaime Lannister and Ser Gregor Clegane in jousting competitions, and is widely regarded to be the finest jouster in Westeros.
  • Kamen Rider Gaim: Kamen Rider Baron's Banana Arms wields the Bananspear; since this is his primary form, it's practically his Weapon of Choice. However, Baron doesn't actually use it like a lance, tending instead to swing it around like a conical sword. At least one of his Finishing Moves involves thrusting the lance while it generates a giant energy banana.
  • Full Metal Jousting is a reality show following the modern sport of jousting with lances. It follows the classic rules with slightly updated equipment.

    Western Animation 
  • Ben 10 villains The Forever Knights have high-tech versions of the jousting lance among other weapons in their arsenal.
  • King Arthur & the Knights of Justice featured a knight with a lance.
  • Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors has a character named Oon, who is an "Eternal Squire" and possesses what he calls a "Magic Lance" (it's doubtful it's really magic, though). Oon even looks like a miniature classic knight.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In Rocket Age Venusian storm riders use thunder lances to attack from the Ptero Soarer mounts. These lances use crystals to hold electrical charge, allowing them both shock and cut enemies.

    Videogames 
  • Monster Hunter:
    • The Lance is a staple weapon of the series, where it is a defensive weapon and always paired with a shield. The user can even couch the lance and charge into a monster for massive damage.
    • The Gunlance is a variant with a short-ranged breech loading firearm built in, with poorer defensive ability in exchange for additional attacks using the gun mechanism.
      • Both variations have a wide variety of designs (including spears, polearms and Improvised Weapons) but all are wielded in the same manner as their parent category.
  • TERA has a lance using class that seems patterned after the Monster Hunter application of this trope, being the designated meat shield and sharing the charge attack.
  • The Shining Soul series has a lance as one of the Warrior's weapon options and he only jabs with it. Apart from its reach it's a pretty poor choice as it has a tiny attack arc.
  • In the Shining Force games, Lances are a common weapon for Knights (which are all centaurs).
  • Valkyria Chronicles:
    • The Valkyrur use lances with spiral patterns. These weapons and their accompanying shields are made of a special material that can channel their users' supernatural powers, allowing them to be a major threat on battlegrounds dominated by firearms and artillery. Interestingly, they wield them one-handed like swords.
    • Anti-Tank Lancers are mundane units using an explosive ranged weapon shaped like a jousting lance.
    • The most dreadful weapon ever created, the great lance Valkoff, is shaped like a giant lance.
  • Elmeti mercenaries in Age of Empires III.
  • Honda Tadakatsu from the Sengoku Basara franchise uses what is called a 'drill spear' but it is clearly shaped like a jousting lance and he can perform a charging attack with it. A horse is out of the question because they wouldn't survive his riding them.
  • Croix from the second Ar tonelico game is a knight, so his choice of this weapon is natural. It's essentially a downsized Shot Lancer (see the "Anime & Manga" section on this page for more info), though it also has thrusters on the backside on the lance head to power-up thrusts, instead of being able to launch and retract the lance head.
  • In the Kirby series, the 'ultimate warrior' Galacta Knight uses a lance and a shield. The more obscure Ghost Knight enemy used the same combination in an earlier game.
  • In Ghosts 'n Goblins, Arthur's default weapon is a jousting lance that he throws like a javelin. He even uses an overhead grip to do so.
  • Earnest in Valkyrie Profile: Covenant of the Plume
  • Mabinogi has Lance weapons, which have an annoying minimum attack range but compensate with high damage and the ability to reduce an opponent's damage resistance. Giants can pair them with a shield but humans must two-hand them and Elves cannot use them due to their weight.
  • Azai Nagamasa from the Samurai Warriors series started out using a yari spear but this was switched to a jousting lance for his debut as a playable character in the sequel to emphasize his dedication as a Knight in Shining Armor for his wife Oichi. He wields the weapon on horseback as well as on foot.
  • The Argent Tournament in World of Warcraft allows players to equip these and fight in mounted duels.
  • Ragnarok Online has a few monsters' sprites depicting them to carry lances, most notably Knight of Abyss (although it attacks with its BFS). On the player's side, Crusaders/Royal Guards mounted on their steed attacks in a thrusting fashion approximately similar to how a lance is used regardless of the actual spear-type weapon being wielded, leading to an amusing way to use scythe, for instance.
  • The Segment 7 boss Rex Cavalier from Hellsinker dual wields a pair of these. There is also some rocket launchers hidden in their handles
  • Mount & Blade has a few mixed in among their massive weapon selection. In keeping with the trope description, they see the most use in tournaments as opposed to actual field combat.
  • In Gems Of War, the Lance Knight, as its name would indicate, carries one of these. Their special attack is called Joust and clears a whole row at once.

    Webcomics 

    Multiple Media 
  • A Number of knight-inspired Digimon use lances, with the most iconic being Dukemon/Gallantmon and variants thereof.
  • The Pokémon Escavalier is designed after a Knight in Shining Armor and has jousting lances for hands.
  • The Star Wars Expanded Universe featured Energy Lances used by the Mon Calamari Knights for aquatic combat and Power Lances used by Clone Troopers and Lancer Droids in an actual joust, albeit with speeder bikes.


Alternative Title(s): Knightly Lance, Chivalric Lance, Knights Lance

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/JoustingLance