Knight in Shining Armor
aka: Knight In Shining Armour
The medieval knight who fights baddies, whether knights or dragons, and in The Tourney
, charms ladies without deliberately seducing them, behaves honorably
, and saves the day with his sword
; but also, any hero who behaves similarly. Invariably Lawful Good
and honor bound
. First appeared in the Chivalric Romance
. Lately has a very high incidence of having a Bodyguard Crush
and Rescue Romance
A cultural trope in Europe since medieval times, most good knights practice something called chivalry
, and Self-Control
and occasionally chastity
. Prone to rescuing the Damsel in Distress
, or delivering her from false accusations
, often whilst bearing The Lady's Favour
. The Knight in Shining Armor was a frequent victim of The Dulcinea Effect
: medieval Chivalric Romances
, indeed, portrayed knights who fell in love with a princesse lointaine
merely on hearing her described, without even seeing her - though his love and heroism usually won her heart
. Another occupational hazard is Chronic Hero Syndrome
, Knights Errant
being charged to Walk the Earth
righting wrongs until a worthy quest shows up.
Often invoked to describe a man who acts chivalrously
toward women. The term may be used in more cynical works to indicate a Wide-Eyed Idealist
. Even the Ur Example
of the straight usage of trope, King Arthur
, messed around with it a lot. The one-two punch of Disney
and Dungeons & Dragons
saw this trope's stock rise like crazy.
The "shining" originally referred to the way his armor and weapons were kept in good condition, as opposed to the rust that accumulated for less competent knights. Most knights will be depicted wearing plate, despite its appearing relatively late in the era of knights.
As knights were also humans like any other, they mostly weren't like this, although it would be extremely
cynical and most certainly false to say that none of them were like this. It's best to describe it as an ideal to which most knights aspired, at least publicly. True, the average knight was more interested in pig farming than warfare, but the chivalric code defined them as a class.
When Prince Charming
is a Knight in Shining Armor he's the Warrior Prince
. Prince Charmless
, on the other hand would not be a knight by choice.
See Lord Error-Prone
and Miles Gloriosus
for common subversions/parodies and Knight in Sour Armor
for what happens when the world fails to live up to their standards, but they keep on being good anyway. A knight who is shiny for one person in particular is The Champion
. A knight that gets magical powers as a reward for this goodness is almost certainly The Paladin
If the Knight in Shining Armor wanders the land seeking evil to slay, then he's also a Knight Errant
will appear as this, all the way to The Reveal
Subtrope to Ideal Hero
. See also Shining Goodness
. Compare the gentleman's Old-School Chivalry
. Compare and contrast the Dogged Nice Guy
. White Knight
is an internet persona who wants to be this.
open/close all folders
Anime and Manga
- Annelotte Kreutz from Queen's Blade Rebellion is a noble knight with a strong sense of justice.
- Record of Lodoss War, Due to its Dungeons & Dragons roots, plays this archetype straight.
- Mist from Knights does his best at this despite being a Hero with Bad Publicity, as well as being just a squire. He fits the trope better than all the other knights thus far.
- Digimon: There is a large group of Digimon called the "Royal Knights". As the name would suggest, they are a group of thirteen (not all of them have been revealed yet, but Word of God states that there are thirteen members) Mega-level Digimon who all resemble a cross between a classic Knight and a mecha. They are supposedly a group of "good guys" who work for the God of the Digital World, but every one of their appearances so far has introduced them as antagonists of the Knight Templar or brainwashed variety. They're not all-exclusive to the group, though. A few of them have been partners to human characters in the series: Tai and Matt's Omnimon, and Takato/Guilmon as Gallantmon are two good examples. These ones weren't actual members of the Royal Knights, though— they were just the same "species".
- In Katekyo Hitman Reborn!, with the way that Tsuna is constantly afflicted with the Dulcinea Effect, the current Arc's Big Bad Byakuran even lampshades this by mocking Tsuna, asking him if he's trying to be Uni's Knight in Shining Armor.
- Amati of Spice and Wolf is actually a very successful merchant, but he offers a not-so-small fortune to alleviate the debts of the pagan wolf deity/traveling nun Horo, and rescue her from Lawrence. He'd only seen her twice when he made the decision, and he presents his intention with a written contract and a proclamation in front of a small crowd. Horo points out he's not really in love with her, so much as the idea of rescuing a beautiful Damsel in Distress in a knightly way.
- Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha: Female Example: Signum.
- Kururugi Suzaku from Code Geass initially seems like the perfect knight, but his attitude is formed partly by his own inherent idealism towards helping people and not letting the ends justify the means — a problem, to say the least, in a Japan occupied by The Empire and site for several violent armed rebellions — and partly by the repressed knowledge that he himself is guilty of the very thing he loathes by killing his own father at the age of 10 to make Japan surrender and keep it from becoming a permanent war zone. His lack of punishment for having done it drove him into becoming a Death Seeker that wants to die serving his ideals. Having acknowledged the memories fully halfway through the season, he freely admits to being selfish, hypocritical, and, in his own words, "despicable".
- Xing-ke plays the trope straight; an honorable and badass swordsman devoted body and soul to his empress. On the Britannian side, Gilbert G.P. Guilford is this for his own princess.
- The eponymous Revolutionary Girl Utena aspires to be this, initially entering the plot to avenge the honor of a friend and staying to Rescue The Princess. But was that really such a good idea? The idea is gender-flipped, subverted, deconstructed, and reconstructed throughout the series.
- Uryū Ishida in Bleach is an Archer in Shining Armor. Very chivalrous and generally well mannered, has a weak spot for women, especially Orihime, also tried to protect Rukia when she was powerless and even spared the life of his female opponent, mercy he doesn't show to others of her kind. Contrary to his popular image he is also one of the most capable leading characters in the series, having fought tough opponents and held his own against enemies far stronger than himself. The Quincy, people of whom he is supposedly Last of His Kind. also had a medieval Christian knight theme given to them by the author.
- Allen Schezar of Vision of Escaflowne is this from start to finish. He always does the right thing, even when it hurts. Plus, his armor is a Humongous Mecha.
- Slayers parodies this, and the Prince Charming idea. Both Lina and Sylphiel have an image of a prince, noble, heroic, handsome, blond, clad in white, riding on a white charger. Then they meet Amelia's father, Phil, who technically fits almost all the requirements (except the blond hair and he is not handsom), but shatters Sylphiel's fantasy of a prince into tiny little pieces. Literally shatters. A piece of Lina's actually bonks her on the head.
- Mytho from Princess Tutu, in his true form as the Prince from the fairytale the story revolves around, fits this trope almost perfectly (except he has no armor and rescues maidens while dancing on a magically formed pillar of flower petals). Also subverted with Fakir, who is the reincarnation of the Knight from the story but doesn't behave like the stereotypical knight.
- Strawberry Panic! has another female example with Amane Ohtori, the "Prince of Spica", who rides a white horse named Star Bride and even pulls off a knightly horseback rescue at one point.
- Monster has the female heroine Nina Fortner fantasize that her secret admirer must be her "prince on a white horse." When she is rescued by Tenma, she assumes the latter must be him. In reality, the anonymous "romantic" emails that have been sent to her were from her twin brother Johan.
- Sayaka from Puella Magi Madoka Magica aspires to be this - her love interest in this case is Kyousuke, who used to play the violin until his hand was badly injured in an accident. When she contracts to become a Magical Girl, her outfit (of the magical girls we see in the series, hers is the only one with a cape) and weapon of choice (swords) reflect this goal. In a series written by Gen Urobuchi, this quickly leads to tragedy.
- In Yu-Gi-Oh!: Capsule Monsters, Yami is this in Episode 10, using Black Luster Soldier as armor and wielding the Sword of Divinity.
- Yu-Gi-Oh!: By day Ghostrick Dullahan masquerades as a suit of antique armor, but at night he shows his true colors as a veteran knight, acting as a leader figure for the other residents of the museum.
- Another good example would be Freed the Brave Wanderer (who would later become Freed the Matchless General). His appearance as a Duel Spirit in the anime shows his Heroic Spirit rather plainly.
- Seven Soldiers: Both Shining Knights of the Seven Soldiers of Victory.
- Captain Atom: Captain Atom's daughter Margaret sees him this way. He eventually becomes one.
- The Black Knight in Marvel Comics is a litteral one.
- In Marvel Comics' outer space stories, the Spaceknights of Galador also aspire to this ideal, but arguably only Rom ever truly achieved it. One story even has Rom encounter the frozen form of King Arthur, still waiting for the day he will reawaken to save Britain from some future calamity, and Rom feels an instant, instinctive kinship with him.
- Johan, the protagonist of the Belgian comic book series De Rode Ridder.
- In Iron Hans, the prince dresses up in armor to fight on the king's behalf. Then he does the same to catch the princess's golden apple.
- In The Golden Crab,the king tries to have The Tourney to substitute a bridegroom for the crab his daughter married. Three times the crab-husband shows up in human guise to fight.
- In "The Princess on the Glass Hill", Boots finds suits of armor with each Cool Horse, and so can ride up the hill as a knight.
Film - Animated
- By the end of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs The Prince has arrived to take Snow White away on his white horse.
- The climax of Sleeping Beauty is a battle with Prince Philip up against Maleficent to save Princess Aurora.
- As Shrek 2 opens Prince Charming has adventured, overcoming many obstacles and climbing the high tower in order to rescue Fiona, finding instead a cross-dressing wolf. It turns out that there was an old promise that Charming would be able to marry Fiona.
- After Princess Odette is kidnapped in The Swan Princess, Prince Derek becomes determined to find her. Once he does he plans to break the spell on her by making a vow of everlasting love.
- Tangled has Flynn Rider gallantly racing on the white Maximus over the bridge to rescue lost princess Rapunzel, which is not only a visual shout-out to this trope, but symbolic of his Character Development from selfish rogue to something closer to this trope.
- Enchanted begins with Prince Edward saving Giselle from a troll, resulting in their planning to get married the next day.
- Phoebus of The Hunchback of Notre Dame is more of this than his counterpart in the source material, being less prejudiced and willing to defy orders to rescue a family from a burning house.
- The Flight of Dragons: Sir Orrin Neville-Smythe is a classic example of this; the aged, but steadfast and noble knight dedicated wholly to justice. The page quote comes from the final battle; Sir Orrin gets set on fire by Bryagh's flame. He withstands the heat long enough to hurl the now-flaming sword into the heart of the black dragon, then collapses next to his fallen love.
Film - Live-Action
- John Boorman's Excalibur takes this pretty literally with Lancelot. In his first scene, his armor is buffed almost to a mirror finish.
- In fact all the knights seem to wear highly polished - and sharp edged - armor everywhere including bed. Including when they are entertaining company of the feminine kind. Oddly the women don't seem to mind. Maybe it's a fetish.
- In Time Bandits, knights appear in Kevin's bedroom. Then, at the end, one of the sets of champions the dwarfs bring to fight Evil is a group of knights.
- William Thatcher in A Knight's Tale is determined to not only be a knight when he is in fact a peasant but to defeat his jousting opponents and win London's World Championship.
- Tristan and Isolde: The British knight Tristan.
- The eponymous Leopold of Kate and Leopold is a nobleman from 1876, swept into modern times, who believes that Kate requires a chaperone on her date with her boss so he offers to go with her to protect her from his obvious intentions. When she refuses he tells her boss, "Some feel that to court a woman in one's employ is nothing more than a serpentine effort to transform a lady to a whore." Imagine the look on a purse-snatcher's face when Leo rides him down on horseback.
Leopold: I warn you scoundrel, I was trained at the King's Academy and schooled in weaponry by the palace guard. You stand no chance. When you run, I shall ride, when you stop, the steel of this strap shall be lodged in your brain.
[bag snatcher throws down the bag and flees, onlookers applaud]
- “Gotham's White Knight,” District Attorney Harvey Dent in The Dark Knight is trying to help bring down the criminal empire in Gotham.
- Jedi Knight, Qui-Gon Jinn in The Phantom Menace will defy the council to to help supposed pathetic life forms.
- Jedi Knights in general are supposed to be this (the word 'knight' is in their name after all) but as noted in the trope description, this is an ideal that not every member always lives up to.
- Jedi in general are a mix between (highly idealized versions of) knights and samurai. However, how much "knight" and how much "samurai" actually varies between cultures. Corellian Jedi, according to The Essential Guide to Warfare and Star Wars: The Old Republic, are actually a lot closer to European knights than the mainline Jedi, being descended directly from those who swore oaths of fealty to a Jedi Lord during the darkest days of the New Sith Wars. They're noted for being very inflexible about the law and justice.
- Prince Charming, a 2001 made-for-television film starring Sean Maguire, is the story of a prince who gets turned into a frog because he dashingly rescues a damsel in distress who starts trying to reward him.
- In Ella Enchanted Prince Charmont gallantly saves Ella's life exactly three times, first from a speeding carriage, second from an ogre's boiling pot and then despite himself he has her back in the court battle.
- At the end of Ever After when Prince Henry shows up to “rescue” Danielle from Pierri Le Pieu.
- When Vivian of Pretty Woman was a little girl she would pretend she was a princess... trapped in a tower by a wicked queen. And then suddenly this knight... on a white horse with these colors flying would come charging up and draw his sword. And she would wave. And he would climb up the tower and rescue her.
- RoboCop is one modern example. Though replace "shining" with "Kevlar/Titanium laminated". With nifty purple-on-blue highlights to boot.
- Female examples: Alanna, Sabine and Kel in Tamora Pierce's books. Seen best in Song of the Lioness when Alanna and her apprentices have to defend the Bloody Hawk tribe from being attacked.
- Kel in particular fits this trope, being titled the "Protector of the Small", and will do anything to help those in need.
- Also, we've got at least ten or so male examples to go with it, due to the majority of Kel and Alanna's friends and rivals being knights also.
- The Dresden Files: Michael Carpenter, the noble Knight of the Cross, fits this trope to a T. Complete with kevlar-lined shining armour. He even met his wife by saving her from a fire-breathing dragon.
- All Knights of the Cross are this; it's part of their job description. (Every Knight wields glowing, divinely empowered swords- if one ever lies or does anything sinful, his sword ceases to work, and has a chance of breaking.) The way they recruit new Knights is to go out and find someone who is this.
- Anthony Woodville is portrayed as this in Philippa Gregory's Cousins' War series. While Anthony is a genuinely good man who really does fit this trope, he's often dragged down by the turmoil and conflict-ridden surroundings and the far less upstanding people around him.
- Sparhawk, from the David Eddings' Elenium trilogy, fits the spiritual heroism of this trope even as he rejects its superficial aspects. Ironically, Sparhawk's own mental image is the aging, weather-beaten, not-especially handsome professional soldier he is, rather than a romantic hero, and the affections of his formerly Distressed Damsel wife were at first a source of considerable guilt, as she is almost half his age. His armor, by the way, like all knights of the Pandion order, is far from shining; enameled black.
- In Poul Anderson's Three Hearts and Three Lions, the hero Holger is thrown in a world where the Matter of France, Charlemagne and his paladins, is fact, and both becomes a Knight in Shining Armor and meets up with knights. The three hearts and three lions of the title are the coat of arms on his shield. The Paladin class of Dungeons & Dragons is primarily inspired by the paladins from this story.
- Forgotten Realms: There's a rather nice paladin in The Threat from the Sea trilogy (never mind that he once was pious enough to carry the symbol of his divine patron... and then hurl it to sea), but though he eventually acquires a mount (sort of), he never wears heavy armor (after all, he's a seaman). Complemented with the usual Knight in Shining Armor for contrast. There were more traditional stiff ones (including some protagonists) in The Pools trilogy. And now there's Thornhold featuring Knights of Samular who "seems to think that Harpers and Zhents are fit to stew in the same pot" (which seems right to some extent) but seems not to be any less fit for the same pot themselves. They have an agent of a Chaotic Evil church among them.
- Dragonlance has the Solamnic knights (see Tabletop RPG's examples below). In particular Sturm Brightblade, who holds to the Oath and Measure upheld by his father, even though he was never actually knighted and most people he knows hold the order in scorn.
- A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthurs Court: was written as a scathing Take That at this trope (among other things), portraying the knights as little more than wandering bullies who picked fights with each other for no reason. The tales of their heroic deeds are entirely fabricated (and absurd on their faces, leading the main character to marvel at how nobody picks up on the Antarctica-level Fridge Logic), and the story features a lengthy description of how uncomfortable the main character is when he is put in his own shiny armor to go on his own quest. And still, in some of the final chapters, in which Camelot falls apart all around, the admirable knighly Lancelot of the origial Arthurian canon several times visibly breakes through Twain's cynicism.
- Despite his anti-hero tendencies, Philip Marlowe is explicitly compared, by Raymond Chandler, to a Knight in Shining Armor.
- Subverted in Second Apocalypse with Sarcellus, who turns out not to be what he looks like, to say the least.
- The Deed of Paksenarrion: Played straight with the eponymous character in the trilogy by Elizabeth Moon. Paks is intentionally designed to be a Paladin from Dungeons & Dragons (see below), written after seeing so many Lawful Stupid Paladins at conventions. Also literally true: the armor worn by paladins will gradually become more lustrous whether or not they actively polish it. The gods have decreed that paladins imply shining armor.
- The Chivalric Romances Sir Triamour and Erl of Toulouse (among others) revolve about an innocent wife accused of adultery and delivered by a knightly champion. Indeed, virtually all Chivalric Romances feature knights in shining armor, anachronistically slapping them into the courts of King Arthur and Alexander the Great.
- In Patricia A. McKillip's The Bell at Sealey Head, Princess Ysabo's home also has many knights, and part of her prescribed ritual is to perform certain services for them, filling cups with wine. She is told she must marry one, and when she asks why, he hits her. However, this turns out to be a false knight, not even human. The crows she feeds every day as part of the ritual are in fact the true knights, and when restored, they behave in a much more knightly manner.
- Discworld: Carrot Ironfounderson is an urbanized version, right down to the well-polished City Watch breastplate.
- Costis in The King of Attolia of Megan Whalen Turner's Queen's Thief series. Not only does he have "a sense of honor as wide as a river," but he actually spends quite some time hoping that his armor is shiny enough for the King's critical eye.
- Guy Crouchback in Sword of Honour by Evelyn Waugh consciously sees himself as a throwback to this. As one of the points is that no one else is honorable, perhaps he is also a Knight in Sour Armor. But despite that, he fits the mold.
- Frank Yerby's The Saracen Blade describes the hero's friend Gautier of Montrose as "a true knight" and specifically states he was "one of the few" who lived up to the best ideals of knighthood and did a bit to redeem the period from savagery.
- As an adaptation of the Arthurian legends, Gerald Morris's The Squire's Tales naturally features this.
- The Knights of Khryl in The Acts of Caine have this reputation as an order, which makes it all the more depressing in that their membership consists of individuals who either count as this, or Knight Templar. Caine Black Knife reveals that Caine himself has a secret admiration for the Knights and their most exemplary members that dates back to the stories he enjoyed as a child. (This is ironic since Caine is a Combat Pragmatist and the Knights' code of honour is a primary cause behind how he spends most of the novel kicking their asses.)
- Sir Nigel Loring, of The White Company, fits this to the letter.
- In The Guardians, Hugh was a medieval knight sincerely striving towards honor and chivalry when he met Lilith. She taunts his naivete by nicknaming him "Sir Pup". He was rewarded for his life of honesty with the Gift of lie detection.
- Bolo: The eponymous supertanks of Keith Laumer's series are intentionally programmed with this notion in mind.
- The Knight in Rusty Armor: The Knight is this twenty four hours a day. Subverted as he only does this because he'll be appreciated by others for it. Indeed, the armor is also a metaphor for hiding one's True Self, and when he sheds it, so he does this trope.
- Saint George and the Dragon which came from the poem in The Faerie Queene:
- The Red Cross Knight told the king to never forget the poor people, and gave to them the rich gifts that he had been awarded for slaying the dreadful dragon that had been terrorizing the countryside.
- The knight bade his lady stand apart, out of danger, to watch the fight, while the beast drew near, half flying, half running.
- Despite what many would think, King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table weren't perfect examples of knighthood. In Le Morte d'Arthur, written by Thomas Mallory (who may have been this trope's complete opposite), they all had glaring flaws: Arthur had an early Nice Job Breaking It, Herod! moment and later is struck down by Mordred because he was too enraged to heed a prophetic dream; the wise mentor Merlin was a Dirty Old Man and met his doom because of it; Gawain, while on the Quest for the Sangreal (Holy Grail), refused to do penance and was rebuked by hermits and disembodied voices alike for his homicidal ways; the great Lancelot was an adulterer and failed in the Sangreal Quest due to his unstable virtue. Indeed, the Sangreal Quest itself shows, and was meant to show, how all these noble knights, great in the world, fell short spiritually. The only knight allowed to achieve the Sangreal was Galahad, who exemplified the knightly ideal.
- Galahad, fittingly enough for the best knight in the world, can even get his own bullet point. Because he was intended to represent knightly perfection, Le Morte d'Arthur writes him as a flawless creature. There is an unused chair at the Round Table that will kill any who sit in it, except the one destined to find the Sangreal. Galahad introduces himself to Arthur by sitting in it. Arthur then takes him to a stone with a sword sticking out of it (sound familiar?) that can only be pulled by the best knight in the world. Galahad pulls it. Arthur announces a jousting tournament. Galahad beats everyone he faces. The text makes several remarks on his virtue (that he's still a maid, that he doesn't wantonly kill), and he achieves the Sangreal, eventually being allowed to ascend up to Heaven.
- Galahad, from An Elegy for the Still-living initially appears to be one of these. But when the time comes for him to fight the dragon, he reveals that it is unbeatable and that he only went there to die.
- In A Song of Ice and Fire, Ser Loras Tyrell, the Knight of Flowers, embodies the chivalric ideals of Westeros. Supposedly anyway. He's not above being a Combat Pragmatist, and some other knights in attendance considered what he did dirty cheating.
- Though she has some aspects of a Knight In Sour Armour, Brienne of Tarth is mostly this trope played as straight as you can get (being a woman in a job otherwise held solely by men notwithstanding). She suffers from deep insecurities, and and is struggling to reconcile the ideal of what knights should be with what most are... hence, some of the sour touches. Yet, she nevertheless shows the boys how it should be done. Heck, it rubs off on Jaime.
- On the other hand, Jaime Lannister is a Subversion. At first he appears appears the perfect Knight in Shining Armor, being incredibly handsome, the best fighter in the land, the slayer of the previous tyrant king and, due to to having his armour gilded, actual shining armour. However, he's quickly revealed to be violent, arrogant and in an incestuous relationship with his sister. And thanks to being the Kingslayer, a breach of his vows as a knight of the Kingsguard, nobody trusts him. After going through Break the Haughty and a Heel-Face Turn with Brienne's example waved in front of his face, Jaime struggles to become a true Knight in Shining Armor in truth.
- Then there are the Clegane brothers who aside from their martial skills aren't models of what knights are supposed to be, though Sandor is getting better.
- Sandor (AKA "The Hound") at one point explains that there is a vast discrepancy between what the people of Westeros idealize knights to be, and what knights actually are (professional killers with fancy titles).
- Sandor actually averts this trope straight from the beginning; he isn't technically a knight at all. He has the horse, the sword, the armor, et al, but he was never actually knighted. And the reason for this? His older brother, Ser Gregor, is such a psychotic, murderous brute that, if someone like him can become a knight, then Sandor wants nothing at all to do with the whole hypocritical institution.
- Played Straight with Ser Barristan Selmy, the last of the old guard Kingsguard, who is essentially everything a knight is supposed to be.
- Ser Arthur Dayne, the Sword of Morning, was this as well. Eddard Stark considers him to be the best knight he ever met, and everyone recognizes him as the greatest knight of his time. Jaime idolized him in his youth and considers the day he witnessed Arthur's fight against the Smiling Knight one of the best moments of his life. Jaime in a moment of self-reflection wonders how the boy who wanted to become the Sword of Morning became the Smiling Knight instead.
- In the prequel novella series Tales of Dunk and Egg, the titular Ser Duncan the Tall is a Humble Hero, but he might well be one of the most down-to-earth decent knights in Westerosi history. His rise to infamy in the first story, defending a common puppeteer from a murder attempt by the King's grandson has everyone calling him "a knight who remembered his vows", which is treated as a rarity. His ethics have a lot to do with his humble upbringing as a former street urchin brought up as a hedge knight's squire.
- Dalinar from The Stormlight Archive is this to the core, and encourages his eldest son to be. This usually causes him to be regarded as an eccentric or fuddy-duddy by the other characters. Also, in the Backstory of the setting, the aptly named Knights Radiant were knights in literal shining armour.
- Also note that the armor stops being shiny if you aren't worthy of it, and a few times when Dalinar is being particularly heroic, his armor starts glowing.
- Since Eleanor has a crush on a knight in Eleanor: Crown Jewel of Aquitaine she wants him to be her bodyguard. Once when they are attacked Clotaire the Strong pulls her into his saddle and races her back to the safety of the castle.
- In The Last Hero, one of the earlier novels (1931) of The Saint, Simon Templar takes backstage to his gallant and tragic associate Norman Kent, who falls in love hopelessly with Templar's girlfriend Patricia Holm (who hardly notices him) and at the end of the book sacrifices his life to let Templar and his other comrades-in-arms escape the current villain and fight again another day. A book called "Knights Errant of the Nineeteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries" by Caroline Whitehead and George McLeod says it all: "Norman Kent is an archetypal knight-errant. Though formally a man of 20th Century England, he lives (and dies) by the Code of Chivalry. He loves totally his Lady, Patricia Holm - who, like Don Quixote's Dulcinea, is not aware of that love. He is totally loyal to his Liege Lord, Simon Templar. Like Sir Gawain in "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight", Norman Kent takes on the threats to his Lord. Not only physicial threats to life and limb, but also the sometimes inavoidable need to take dishourable acts which would have reflected badly on the reputation of King Arthur/Simon Templar is taken on, wholly and without reservation, by Sir Gawain/Norman Kent."
- John Moore's Slay and Rescue has a prince named Charming, sent by his father's chancellor to rescue fair maidens all over the place (the theory is that it keeps him too busy to try to take over the throne).
- In Devon Monk's Allie Beckstrom novel Magic to the Bone, Allie plays with this, speaking of looking for police in shining armor and the like.
- There are occasional references to upstanding men as this trope in the Aunt Dimity series, especially when they demonstrate their goodness openly. Also, among Lori and Bill's wedding gifts is a portrait of Bill on horseback and wearing armour—and his glasses.
- In Jack Campbell's The Lost Stars novel Tarnished Knight, leading up to the Title Drop, Iceni reflects that she doesn't have this, but she may have a somewhat more tarnished version.
- In John C. Wright's The Hermetic Millennia, Knights Hospitalliar are frozen to wake when the Tombs need protection.
- In Living Alone by Stella Benson, one silly woman describes herself as fighting spiritually against the Germans as this.
"Yes, I was," persisted Miss MacBee. "I lay on the hammock which I have had slung in my cellar, and shut my eyes, and loosed my spirit, and it shot upward like a lark released. It detached itself from the common trammels of the body, yes, my spirit, in shining armour, fought with the false, cruel spirits of murderers."
- Song at Dawn: Dragonetz left for the Second Crusade as one of these; full of confidence in Christendom and Chivalry.
- In John Hemry's Paul Sinclair novels, Jen refers to Paul as this, repeatedly. Her father ironically observes that he expected to need sunglasses while meeting him.
- In Erin Morgenstern's The Night Circus, Bailey draws the Knight of Swords, showing a knight charging, sword drawn.
- In Julie Kagawa's The Iron King, the five sent to catch Ash and Meghan. Their chief chivalrous trait is their absolute loyalty.
- In Susan Dexter's The True Knight, Titch has a few flaws but meets the requirements — short of being actually knighted. Wren, nevertheless, pleads at the end that he is the best knight the duke will ever meet.
- In Robert A. Heinlein's Have Space Suit – Will Travel, Kip has a dream featuring knights in shining space armor (and dragons and Arcutarian maidens among its tamer elements). Afterward, he insists on preceding Peewee out of the cell like a proper knight, and after a failure regards himself as not a knight but a soda jerk.
- Journey To Chaos: Siron Esrah is a chivalrous nobleman who insists on propriety and protecting the Crown Princess. His introduction is during a joust.
- One is summoned by accident in Charmed, thanks to Paige.
- Doctor Who
- In "The Girl in the Fireplace": The Doctor does a Super Window Jump on a white horse to save the lady from evil. The chivalrous parallel is increased by the fact that in doing so, he's trapping himself in time.
- The Doctor takes up a big sword in a duel to decide the fate of Earth as the planet's champion during "The Christmas Invasion".
- Sir Thomas Grey, 'Quite the Knight of the Realm' as an outlaw observes in one episode of Covington Cross. Sir Thomas' sons William, Richard and Cedric are aspiring knights - as is his only daughter! On the other hand his eldest son wants to be a cook...
- Jon Stewart's sudden appearance on The Colbert Report to save Stephen from utter humiliation at the hands of Conan O'Brien, with the now-famous shout of "Don't you do it, boy!", has been referred to as the 'knight in shining Armani' moment by fans. (Ordinarily, he's much more of a Butt Monkey.)
- Bones: Angela refers to Booth as a "knight in shining FBI standard-issue body armor".
- Criminal Minds: In the first season finale the Un Sub is suffering from the delusion that Reid and the team are this. It's also been stated in the special features that they attempt to write stories about knights in shining bulletproof vests, and end up with what the show is.
- Adam in The Wanderer goes from cutthroat businessman to Knight in Shining Armor in a single episode. Handwaved by the fact he is reverting to the mindset of an earlier incarnation.
- Alistair in one episode of As Time Goes By shows up dressed as a Knight in Shining Armor to help him win Judy's affection.
- Prince Eric Greystone of Wizards And Warriors (the TV series, not the video games), golden haired and usually clad in gold lame. Honorable to the point of folly - or beyond. His even hunkier brother Prince Justin on the other hand is a total subversion of the Trope.
- Lancelot in Merlin, albeit only briefly until he is thrown out for being a commoner. Meanwhile, Prince Arthur is becoming one, and part of the point of the series is Merlin helping Arthur become one.
- As of the end of series 3, Lancelot has been properly knighted as one of Arthur's new Round Table, as well as Gwaine, Elyan and newcomer Percival. Along with veteran knight Sir Leon, they all aspire towards this trope and prove their worthiness as knights at many points during the rest of the series.
- Although not a literal knight David Shephard in Kings fulfills all the other qualifications and as a soldier could be said to be the modern equivalent of a knight.
- Jamie Reagan in Blue Bloods is a cop not a knight but plays to this trope in the sense of dedicating his live to protecting order, being loyal to his family and comrades, helping the helpless and in general putting honor way before reason. And wearing a cool uniform. Call him a Knight in shining blue cloth.
- Sheriff Cody Johnson, Brian Thompson's character in the short-lived series Key West, was thoroughly one of these.
- Power Rangers: Any of the Rangers, although they subvert it occasionally, usually with Knight in Sour Armor.
- Fantasy buff Chip from Power Rangers Mystic Force was thrilled to find out "knight" is an actual rank in the mystic realm and strives to reach it so he can be a knight in shining armor. Daggeron, the Solaris Knight, fits the bill quite well already, though again, any Ranger tends to. However, Daggeron's the one who gives the most stereotypically "knightly" lines like "I'd rather die with honor than live without it." Noble Demon Koragg, also of knight rank, gives such speeches, but it's actually his true self bleeding through the brainwashing; he actually doesn't want to fight the Rangers at all. His good alter-ego Leanbow taught Daggeron everything he knows.
- Other more literal knights include the second Magna Defender of Power Rangers Lost Galaxy (the original was a Black Knight) and Sentinel Knight of Power Rangers Operation Overdrive. Robo Knight of Power Rangers Megaforce was intended to be one, but programming flaws lead him to focus strictly on eliminating threats and not consider things like civilian safety, though he's getting better.
- Scrubs: Sir Percival in the fairytale Perry Cox tells his son in a Something Completely Different episode.
- The Groosalaugg from Angel, although he ditches the shining armor shortly after moving to LA.
- In Have Gun — Will Travel, Paladin, as the name suggests, although he wears what looks more like a villainous oufit if you go by traditional Good Colours, Evil Colours. In some of the darker stories stories he can come off as more of a Knight in Sour Armor, when dealing with more disgusting individuals his bitterness can shine through.
- William admits that he's in love with his queen, Shannon, but out of respect for his honor code as a knight he does not want to break up her relationship with her fiancé, Miles, in the House episode Knight Fall.
- Tin Man: Cain's no knight, but he did vow to be the princess's protector. When the crew is riding to DG's rescue in part 3, he's got the white horse.
- On Game of Thrones, Ser Loras Tyrell (see Literature above) literally has the shiniest armor in Westeros, at least in the first season. By the second season, his armor becomes rusty and dirty, expressing his increasing cynicism, and he does not smile as much.
- Although Loras is not romantically interested in Sansa, his adherence to knightly ideals plays a part in wanting to rescue her from the hell she's in, and he willingly enters into an Arranged Marriage with the girl so that he can whisk her away to Highgarden. Say what you will of his grandmother's and sister's ulterior motives, but Loras is more honourable than that. He understands that King's Landing is a terrible place for Sansa, and he sees her as a Damsel in Distress who is held prisoner by the "monster" Joffrey.
- The song Glory of Love by Peter Cetera
Just like a knight in shining armor
From a long time ago
Just in time I will save the day
Take you to my castle far away.
- The Faith Hill song This Kiss
Cinderella said to Snow White
'How does love get so off course?
All I wanted was a white knight with a good heart,
soft touch, fast horse.'
Ride me off into the sunset, baby I'm forever yours.
- The Taylor Swift song "White Horse".
I'm not a princess, this ain't a fairytale
I'm not the one you'll sweep off her feet
Lead her up the stairwell
...Now it's too late for you and your white horse
To come around.
- The country song "Suds In The Bucket" by Sara Evans.
When her prince pulled up - a white pickup truck
Her folks shoulda seen it comin' - it was only just a matter of time
Plenty old enough - and you can't stop love
She stuck a note on the screen door - "sorry but I got to go"
- In Frank And Ernest, Frank, as a knight, complains of having to dress on a cold morning.
- In one Garfield comic strip, Jon gets freaked out by a scary part in the movie theater and starts sucking his thumb. Liz mutters "My knight in shining armor", and Garfield says "Make that your sissy in double-knit."
- Dungeons & Dragons: The paladin class was based on Knight in Shining Armor archetype in general and supposedly Three Hearts and Three Lions in particular. Paladins are more like holy crusaders empowered with divine magic, though.
- Sturm Brightblade of the Dragonlance D&D saga is the epitome of this trope played straight except for not actually being a knight until shortly before his death. His fellow Knights of Solamnia are not quite so ideal but, with a couple of (important) exceptions, are generally good.
- The Player's Handbook II from late in D&D 3rd Edition introduced the knight class, which is a lot like the paladin but without magical abilities. The knight's abilities focus on mounted combat, single combat with an opposing champion, and maintaining honor.
- The 1st edition Cavalier class, introduced in that era's Unearthed Arcana, was closer to the "standard" Arthurian knight. For a while, the Paladin class was a subclass of the Cavalier instead of the Fighter.
- Paizo's Pathfinder RPG has brought The Paladin full-circle with the "Shining Knight" archetype, complete with bonuses to mounted combat and riding skill. For those not wanting to add divine elements to it, there's also the Cavalier class.
- Ironically, Alain Germande, the Iconic Cavalier, is very much not this, though he does excel at presenting himself this way to aid in seducing impressionable women. He's a Lawful Neutral arrogant Glory Hound Blood Knight who, though surprisingly charismatic, regards all others as expendable tools in pursuit of ever-greater glory and success.
- In Warhammer, all noble Brettonians aspire towards becoming true knights in shining armour. Grail Knights, who have been found pure in heart and soul and blessed by the Lady of the Lake, all qualify for this trope by definition. The Empire also has several noble knightly orders, but their modernization means that the chivalric ideals are not as predominant there as in Brettonia.
- Magic: The Gathering
- The White Knight, polar opposite of the game's Black Knight. However, game mechanics normally prevent the two from engaging each other in combat...
- The Shards of Alara expansion features Bant, a plane of Knights in Shining Armor, who have a Fantastic Caste System based on the acquisition of sigils, which are marks of great valor and honorable conduct.
- Chaosium's Pendragon game is based on the stories of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table.
- TSR's Knights of Camelot game also covered the Arthurian knighthood setting.
- The Talisman board game provides two examples of this trope, who reflect the chivalric code slightly differently: the Knight character, who is always of good alignment and who cannot attack other characters of good alignment, and the Chivalric Knight, who can aid rival characters in battle and cannot attack another character whose strength value is less than his own.
- In Wargames Research Group games DBM and DBMM, Knights are the second most formidable troop types after War Elephants. They are fairly confident on running down any mounted troops and most foot, but they are vulnerable to shooting. The Achilles' Heel of Irregular Knights is their impetuosity: unless constantly guarded, they are liable on charging spontaneously the nearest enemy and thus ruining the battle plan.
- Fire Emblem: Blazing Sword:
- Parodied with Sain in , who acts like this just so he can get women. The only result is that his comrade, Kent, repeatedly tells him to drop it and get back to work.
- Played straight as an arrow with Seth and Geoffrey, and Kent for that matter.
- Camus and Arran from Fire Emblem Akaneia could be seen as Played for Drama. Camus ends up having to choose between his love and his country, ending up going with the latter. This results in him being left for dead and his love being stuck in a loveless Arranged Marriage. When he returns as Sirius in Mystery, he devoted himself to saving Nyna, but in the end even though he's able to snap her out of being Brainwashed and Crazy, he resigns himself to the fact he can't be with her, and leaves never to return.
- Chrono Trigger: Cyrus in the English version. His apprentice Glenn takes on traits of this as well along with being a cursed knight. Not in the original Japanese version: Lost in Translation.
- One of the armor sets for the Titan class in Destiny resembles the armor of a knight and flashes a bright blue.
- Baldur's Gate: The series had a few-brash but idealistic squire Anomen, relentlessly pious and judgmental Ajantis, and the old but still fighting Keldorn. Oddly enough, perhaps the most outspokenly classical example is a female halfling, Mazzy, who comes as close as a halfling can come to a paladin in a Second Edition-based game. The Knights of the Noble Order of Radiant Heart were an order of this trope, whom the protagonist could join if s/he was a paladin too.
- Ditto Neverwinter Nights 2 with Casavir. Granted, he has all the personality of a brick, but he's a chivalrous paladin nevertheless.
- In the first game, Lady Aribeth, Paladin of Tyr, thr god of Justice is a rare female example. Her fall towards evil after seeing the city she had sacrificed so much for execute her fiancé for a crime he is innocent of (he was made a scapegoat and the people condemning him are fully aware of it) as well as the blatant injustice committed in the name of the god of justice is the main plot of the game
- As his banters reveal, Keldorn may go closer to Knight in Sour Armor — having been a paladin for longer than the main character has been alive, and he understands full well just how horrid the world can be.
- Prince Rurik of Guild Wars, doubling as The Scrappy for many.
- Flynn in Tales of Vesperia.
- "Knight" is a playable class in The Elder Scrolls. In an expansion pack for the fourth game, the player can found his own holy order of shiny-armored knights.
- The second game had a wide variety of joinable orders of knights. There was the Knightly Orders, who were knights of a region (the Knights of the Dragon for Daggerfall, the Knights of the Rose for Wayrest, and so on), and the Templar Orders, who were knight-themed variants of the respective Temple (so the Akatosh Chantry had the Order of the Hour, the School of Julianos had the Knights Mentor, and so on). There is also the Order of the Lamp, the Mages' Guild's counterpart to the Templar Orders, which in-game dialogue suggests was meant to be joinable, even if it wasn't in the released version.
- The Knight class in Runes Of Magic is apparently inspired by this trope.
- Cecil Harvey in Final Fantasy IV. Indeed, his turn from the dark side to this is one of the driving forces behind and most emotionally satisfying part of the overarching plot.
- Steiner in Final Fantasy IX, to the point that he makes a clanking sound whenever he walks. He is also chivalrous to a fault, and is torn by his conflicting duties to Queen Brahne and Princess Garnet.
- Basch in Final Fantasy XII. Lampshaded when Judge Gabranth wonders, in their final confrontation, how come Basch failed his motherland, and then the kingdom who took him in, but is still the one who keeps his sense of honor of the two.
- The Warrior of Light in Dissidia: Final Fantasy takes the trope and runs with it. In fact, he's heroic, noble, unashamedly, unrepentantly, disgustingly chivalrous to the point of making his characterization seem a tad unrealistic. Ironically this is later explained as a side effect of originally being born as a clone without much emotions.
- As does Cecil, but that rather goes without saying (though perhaps not as much as the Warrior).
- Ky Kiske from Guilty Gear. Prior to the events of the game, he's the commander who willingly risked his life to save people even if the situation seemed hopeless or even if the person to be saved was questionable. An in XX Ky continues to be a noble public servant as a high ranking police officer. In Overture, his popularity and charisma earns him the position of a king.
- Samara in Mass Effect 2, even going so far as to give a Knight Errant (perhaps with a bit of Samurai) as the closest human equivalent to her order. Though she has a strong ruthless streak, and is absolutely unbending when it comes to her code.
- Alistair, in Dragon Age: Origins is mostly this. On top of all that, he's also a Prince Charming, as you learn over the course of the story. Covers a lot of bases, does our boy Alistair.
- See also: Mr. Fanservice. Do want.
- Something of a subversion is found in Awakening with the Spirit of Justice. A Fade Spirit based on the concept of Justice, it is eventually trapped in the corpse of a Grey Warden named Kristoff. It then joins your party as a Knight in Shining Armor Undead.
- Oersted from Live A Live is this trope. Demon-slaying, princess-saving, the whole nine yards.
- Soul Series:
- Balmung of the .Hack// series (all incarnations). While the setting of the series is an MMORPG, Balmung specifically investigates circumstances which could easily get him hurt in the real world. However, he has a strong moral code on issues of lesser significance, such as a strong distaste for hacking and player harassment. He also has a penchant for swooping in at the last moment to save other characters:
- In Sign, Balmung only appears in one episode, but rushes in to distract the Phase monster so that Subaru and company can escape.
- Similarly, Balmung's introduction in the video games has him chasing down another corrupted monster and trying to get Kite and BlackRose to run away.
- and in the Legend of Twilight manga, Balmung (Now a sysadmin) swoops down yet again and saves Rena, takes out the data bug, and disappears before they can even find his name. When the people he works for ban him from getting involved in this again, he quits his job and takes up arms on his own.
- His status as this in-universe even extends to Newly born AI Aura taking his character template for use as an automated defender of the World.
- The Colour Tuesday: Kyle fits this; he only rebels when its clear his sister will die if she does not recieve medicine that he can't leave town for because of an arbitrary law. (Apparently its the wrong "season") He's consistently the most polite and level-headed character, and doesn't think twice about sacrificing his relationship with Alex and his powers to cross the magical flames which separate him and the medicine he carries from his sister. Thankfully this isn't necessary.
- Edrick/Loto from Dragon Quest is one of the earliest examples for Japanese RPG history by saving a princess in distress and defeating an evil dragonlord on his own.
- The Legend of Zelda's Link, while not a knight by job, has been an Ideal Hero who saves the princess and the land of Hyrule from Evil Overlord Ganon since 1986.
- Kid Icarus: Uprising makes it clear that Pit is one, as he is endlessly loyal to Palutena and will always fight for the human race, even though the game also shows that Humans Are Bastards and the real Big Bad, Hades, easily manipulates them to kill each other.
- Dark Souls has Solair of Astora and Oscar of Astora. Solair is a honorable, friendly Warrior of the Sun, Oscar was on a quest to ring the Twin Bells of Awakening. Siegmeyer of Catalina wants to be this, but is far to bumbling.
- Graham of Daventry foegoes the armor in favor of guile, but he is still very much a knight at heart, even after being crowned king.
- In Starcraft, Raynor starts out as one, Kerrigan even lampshades it; but unfortunately he then realizes that the Koprulu Sector is a Crapsack World and becomes a Knight in Sour Armor.
- Aeron, of Pandora's Tower, who starts the game off sneaking into the capital city of the country his homeland is at war with just to watch his girlfriend sing, then doesn't hesitate to disappear with her when Elena is promptly afflicted with a curse. He then spends half the game looking to break said curse, and the other half looking after her and making their shabby safehouse a much more pleasant place to be just so she's more comfortable. Bonus points for the fact his armor is literally bright, shiny gold.
- Goblins: Big-Ears is made of this trope. Kore, on the other hand, is a subversion.
- Sir Toby, from Chivalry and Knavery. A Christian knight (who happens to be an anthropomorphic lion), who is kind, brave and extremely strong. And patient, otherwise he would have run screaming from Kira and Ulf. According to his character description, he believes that there is good in everyone-amazingly, his time with the two of them hasn't beaten that belief out of him.
- Sir Muir in Harkovast fits this trope, even if his armour is more battered then shining most of the time!
- Squid Row A knight in a shining hatchback, anyway
- Esten in Roza. Even if lacking the armor and resembling a Bounty Hunter.
- In Rusty and Co., the Night Wight was once the White Knight.
- In Sinfest,
- In Our Little Adventure, after a rogue tricks a wizard into identifying their scrolls, he gives her the one she needs, and she gushes that he's her knight in shining armor.
- In Freefall, a robot refrains from an evil plan because he's always thought of himself as the "shining armor type"
- Hong Chunhwa from Tower of God, a chivalrous knight who always pays his respects to the ladies.
- While several Servants in Fate Nuovo Guerra come from Arthurian romances or the Matter of France, the best example would probably be Sir Roland. Sir Gawain is a special case: his devotion to Chivalry eventually led to Camelot's downfall, as he refused to call for Lancelot's help for the Battle of Camlann.
- Worm has Gallant, a superhero who explictly chooses to live by this trope.
- Chevalier as well. He's one of the most morally upright characters in the setting, and for bonus points he actually wears shining armor.
- Silverbolt, from Transformers: Beast Wars, is a usually tongue-in-cheek example of this type. He's not a parody so much as a walking Lampshade Hanging, complete with trumpet fanfares when he speaks. It really helps that both his animals - one a wolf, the other an eagle - are typical 'noble' animals. (which sorta makes a Griffin an even more noble animal)
Blackarachnia: Oh no. You're not saving my life again? Even after I shot you?
Silverbolt: It's my duty, ma'am, as a Maximal and as a heroic character.
- Although most D&D adaptations (as in the cases of Record of Lodoss War and Dragonlance) play the trope straight, the trope is subverted in the Dungeons & Dragons cartoon series, in which Eric the Cavalier, the cast member closest to a knight, is vain, selfish, and cowardly. (He does demonstrate a well-buried better nature at certain points, usually against his better judgment). Hank the Ranger, meanwhile, occupies the Knight in Shining Armor role.
- The recurring Gummi Bears character Sir Victor, the White Knight, was a classic Knight in Shining Armor. However, it turned out that he was actually the estranged brother of the series Big Bad, Duke Igthorn, and lived in constant fear that he would turn evil like the rest of his family (before An Aesop was delivered to him, anyway) and righted wrongs as perceived atonement for his house's ill deeds.
- Shining Knight of Justice League Unlimited. Especially played up in "Patriot Act" where he and a mutated General Ripper do battle while they argue what duty to one's country means.
- Sir Giles in Disney's animated featurette of Kenneth Grahame's The Reluctant Dragon chapter of Dream Days both embodies and subverts this trope, in that although he actually is a famous dragon-slaying hero (in Grahame's book actually St. George himself), he is nevertheless willing to fake a combat with the eponymous dragon on learning that he, too, is 'a bit of a bard'.
- South Park: Stan Marsh became a mix of this and the Only Sane Man. And sometimes he himself parodies this trope.
- In My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, Twilight Sparkle's big brother is named Shining Armor and is Captain of the Canterlot Royal Guard. For bonus points, he even marries a princess in the season 2 finale, though his sister and his bride-to-be Cadance have to save him from the Monster of the Week.
- Flash Sentry from My Little Pony Equestria Girls is another straight example. The human version that's the closest thing to a Love Interest for one of the Mane Six has a counterpart in Equestria, it turns out - the pony Flash is a member of the Crystal Empire royal guard - the only one we've seen who isn't a Crystal Pony - and is enough like Shining Armor that some fans find Twilight Sparkle's attraction to his counterpart a little uncomfortable. He gets more screentime - well, page time - in the comics.
- Sir Roderick from Gawayn. It's a shame he also tends to be Lord Error-Prone.
- William Marshal, 1st Earl of Pembroke, was the younger son of a minor nobleman who went on to serve the royal family of Henry II of England and be given the hand and estates of Isabel de Clare. He eventually came to be known by his contemporaries as "The Marshal" and "the greatest knight."
- Geoffroi de Charny, who wrote the literal manual on chivalry was widely regarded in his day as a True and Perfect Knight. Such was his valour and his belief in Chivalry, that he died at the Battle of Poitiers defending the Oriflamme to his last.