Lady and Knight
aka: Bright Lady And White Knight
The Lady and Knight is a chivalric image that many of us probably know very well, though perhaps you didn't realize they come in two flavors. A staple in fiction everywhere, the Lady And Knight dynamic is at least Older Than Feudalism
, though no doubt that whole era of Romantic adventure stories like King Arthur
and Robin Hood
perpetuated it. While it is very common in works set in a Medieval era or equivalent fantasy version
, they can pop up anywhere, but even in modern settings they are usually meant to invoke that era's ideal image of a Lady and her Knight.
The iconic portrayal is of the Lady as a beautiful, admirable woman with dignity and nobility and The Knight as a strong, brave man of virtue sworn to protect her. The Lady And Knight, while originally female and male respectively, aren't always nowadays and either role can be played by either gender. While there is often a Bodyguard Crush
involved, sometimes it's a chaste Courtly Love
and in same-sex couple versions there's less of a chance of romance being involved. In the past the Lady was often a Damsel in Distress
, but now it's nearly as common for the Knight and his Lady to form an Action Duo
or Battle Couple
There are two particular variations of the Lady And Knight dynamic: the Bright Lady and White Knight
, a good version, and an Evil Counterpart
, the Dark Lady and Black Knight
. While the types are fairly distinct, it's not unheard of for Ladies and their Knights to switch from one to the other, should they perform a Heel-Face Turn
or Face-Heel Turn
. For more information about the two different types, see the Analysis page
Often there's some sort of ceremony or official pledging, accompanied by the knight giving the Lady a kiss on the hand or kneeling. Sometimes non-historical based works will slip something similar in as a tip off to the two character's relationship. In settings which support actual knights being in the work, if the Knight doesn't start off as an actual
Knight, he is almost always formally knighted
by the end of the work.
Compare Mistress and Servant Boy
which has a similar dynamic, but the Knight is less about serving and doing menial tasks and more about protecting his Lady and his honor. If the servant also happens to be a Battle Butler
, however, they may overlap.
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Bright Lady and White Knight
Anime & Manga
- Serenity and Endymion from Sailor Moon, both royalty as it turns out.
- Also, Serenity and the Sailor Senshi — Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, and Venus even form the group known as the Guardian Senshi. In the manga, Mars/Rei even made a chastity oath to Serenity in the past, and remembering it helped her to break from a brief Brainwashed state.; on the other hand, Venus/Minako openly declares at some point that she is completely devoted to "her one and only", and while she says no names it's obvious that she refers to Usagi/Moon.
- An interesting take on this trope in Revolutionary Girl Utena feature both the Lady and the Knight being females. Anthy Himemiya is the Lady, Utena Tenjou is the Knight. It's also massively exploited by the very Genre Savvy Big Bad, Akio: he counted on Utena and her chivalrous spirit, placing Barrier Maiden Anthy in vulnerable positions so Utena would be dragged into the duels. (And Anthy was on it, having been emotionally anethesized as a consequence of being abused by the no longer kind Akio and used as the Rose Bride by everyone.) Utena is understandably devastated when she finds out, and not to mention she realises that she had played the prince role WRONG - as in, she protected Anthy to bolster her own ego and feel good about herself, without having any real consideration for her "damsel"'s feelings. It's only then that Utena starts to genuinely play the role of knight towards Anthy - by vowing and finally managing to save her "lady" from her torment, which leads her to pretty much disappear from the world itself... and gives Anthy the courage to openly call Akio out, walk away from him and Ohtori, take back the control of her own life, and go search for Utena herself.
- Konoka Konoe and Setsuna Sakurazaki in Mahou Sensei Negima!. Like Revolutionary Girl Utena, both are female. When visiting the Kyoto Movie Town, they even dress up as a Japanese noblewoman and a samurai.
- Zero no Tsukaima has noblewoman Louise and her Knight Saito.
- Alucard and Integra from Hellsing could fall under this. Integra being a noblewoman (IE: Sir Integra Fairbrook Wingates Hellsing) and Alucard being her loyal servant. Interestingly enough, Integra did dream of having her own knight by her side as a child, though she ended up with a vampire instead. He acts like a loyal knight to her, horrific though he may be to her enemies).
- To be technical, Vlad Tepes/Dracula ("The Dragon") WAS (IS?) a Knight, at least historically speaking.
- Additionally, many people forget that a policeman's badge is a SHIELD, and with very good reason. One could consider a police officer to be the modern version of a Knight. If so, then Integra can also call upon her other Vampire Knight (no reference to the series of the same name), Seras Victoria, though she's more a vampire... squire under the thumb of Integra and Alucard.
- Euphemia vi Britannia and Suzaku Kururugi from Code Geass are a literal example: she is the princess of the Britannian Empire and he is soon knighted by her.
- Lacus Clyne and Kira Yamato from Gundam SEED and especially Gundam SEED Destiny.
- Relena Peacecraft (Lacus' Expy source) and Heero Yuy from Gundam Wing; they may not contact each other for months at a time, but the nanosecond someone threatens her, he's there to save the day. Afterwards, she works hard for and establishes peace in the world.
- Gender-flipped as well: Lady Une serves as the front line servant and warrior for Treize Khushrenada, who is a high-ranking noble that rarely steps onto the battlefield himself.
- From Mobile Fighter G Gundam, Neo France's George DeSand is the Knight to Princess Maria Louise's Lady. She tries to forcibly invoke the trope via staging a fake Hostage Situation, but George notices and calls her out; from then on, they fit in straighter.
- Technically it would be 'Captain and Supply Officier' but Lafiel and Jinto from Crest of the Stars fulfill the spirit of the trope. He defers to and protects her, while she is a princess with a drive to serve her empire. On other hand, since Jinto is arguably The Quisling, his fellow humans see them as the darker variety.
- Played for laughs in the Sleep Incense arc of the Ranma ½ manga. In one of Akane's dreams, she's a princess and has been captured by Shampoo, Ukyo, and Kodachi. After Ranma rescues Akane and swears his eternal allegiance to her, they immediately become Sickeningly Sweethearts. They almost have sex, right before that dream ends and the next one begins. Hilariously ironic, considering that the real Ranma and Akane are chockful of Belligerent Sexual Tension and refuse to physically display any affection for each other.
- Fate/Zero: This is the dynamic between Irisviel and Saber. Irisviel says so. This is to contrast the other half of team Einzbern.
- Sola-Ui wants to be this with her fiancé Kayneth's Servant, Lancer. It... doesn't work as expected, to put it mildly.
- More hilariously, this is the dynamic between Waver Velvet and Rider, despite Waver being a boy. The Hunt any Ufotable magazine interview acknowledges (and Caster and Ryuunosuke) as a romantic couple; they even stated that yes, they had sex the night before episode 13. (Makes sense considering that this Rider is bisexual according to Word of God and that, of all heroes, he is the also bisexual Alexander the Great.)
- In Fate Prototype, the story that predated almost everything in the Nasuverse, we have a still not gender flipped Saber aka King Arthur playing this straight with The Protagonist and his mistress, Ayaka Sajyou. Not to mention, his rival Archer aka Gilgamesh (only with less ego) really, really wants Ayaka to be his Bright Lady instead. But after Saber is corrupted and stolen by Sancraid, the one who takes Saber's place as Ayaka's partner is Lancer (aka Cu Chulainn) instead.
- Technically Recca is a Ninja but otherwise fulfills the role of the White Knight by being The Hero and pledging his loyalty and service to Yanagi, who in turn, is a Bright Lady by her compassion. She uses Healing Hands to help others but needs Recca to keep her safe.
- A very weird example exists in Baccano! with Ladd and Lua. Ladd has traits of the white knight (attraction to Lua because of her gentle personality, protects her at the cost of his arm and is engaged to her) but he doesn't wants anyone to kill her because he wants to be the one to do it. Lua would be a bright lady (beauty, innocence, emotional support for her knight) if she weren't looking forward to being killed by him.
- Rare genderflipped example: Hungary (Bright Action Girl aka Knight) and Austria (Princely Young Man, thus he's the "Lady") in Hetalia. Fanon tends to play it straight if they use their genderflipped versions aka male!Hungary and female!Austria.
- Fanon tends to describe a romantic relationship between Taiwan and Japan as this. It's actually more of a ship teased Savvy Guy, Energetic Girl bond in canon.
- Switzerland and Liechtenstein might fit in, though Switzerland is more Trigger Happy than most White Knights and Liechtenstein doesn't seem to be in much danger after he adopts her. (That, and he's seen trying to train her into gun handling too.)
- A sketch on the artist's blog depicts Hungary dressed in a princely garb as the knight and Liechtenstein with long, flowing hair as the lady — in a variation where both are female.
- In Saint Seiya, Saori had Lady And Knight vibes with the five Saints. However, Seiya was the most vehement in his devotion to her and had the most Bodyguard Crush ovetones as well, while the others's bonds to her were more platonic/brotherly than anything. The saints were actually named "knights" in a lot of Westerner dubbing.
- In the anime, Jabu wants to be Athena's personal "Knight" badly due to having a Bodyguard Crush on her ever since they were kids. Sadly, this isn't touched upon later.
- Subverted twice in the Asgard saga. Normally Siegfried and Hilda would be this, and the flashbacks show them as such... but since Hilda was Brainwashed and Crazy she and Sieg were more of a Black Knight/Dark Lady duet. At the same time Hagen wanted to be the White Knight to Freya's Bright Lady, but when Freya became a Defector from Decadence and had these dynamics more or less straight with Hyoga, he went the Black Knight way. Both cases ended up in death and tears.
- Also gender flipped, with Tethys and Julian Solo aka the Soul Jar of Poseidon in the Poseidon saga.
- In the prequel Saint Seiya: The Lost Canvas, we have Sasha aka the former Athena incarnation and not only her Bronze Saints (Crane Yuzuriha, Unicorn Yato and Pegasus Tenma), but also Sagittarius Sisyphus.
- InuYasha has these dynamics with Kagome. In the anime he has this with Kikyou as well.
- Saya and Haji in Blood+, all the way. Saya wavers a bit after the timeskip and slips into Dark Lady but is ultimately a Bright Lady at heart, while Haji remains a White Knight throughout. Blood+ plays this so straight to the point where a human who drinks a queen's blood becomes a chiropteran known as a chevalier (French for knight)
- Gender-flipped in Fullmetal Alchemist. Roy Mustang is a State Alchemist who aims to bring a new era of justice to Amestris, and Riza Hawkeye has promised to guard his life while he takes up his mission. She's also promised to kill him if he ever becomes like the monsters he's trying to fight, and admits that if it came to that, she'd commit suicide right after making good on her word.
- Veronica and Griamor from Nanatsu No Taizai are this with shades of Inspector Javert.
- Puella Magi Madoka Magica has a Les Yay-laced variant with Homura as the Knight to Madoka's Lady. In the finale, the dynamic is somewhat switched around, since Madoka has to realize her potential to save the world, including Homura, and before she becomes a borderline Physical God, Madoka pretty much vows to protect Homura as well as the other magical girls from then on.
- In Kannazuki no Miko, Himeko and Souma are this: Himeko is the mystical Priestess of the Sun, and Souma is the brave warrior who betrayed Orochi to do the right thing and protect her. The two respect and care for each other deeply but Himeko eventually chooses Chikane as her lover. Souma, to his credit, respects Himeko's decision and remains her Knight.
- In Wolf Guy - Wolfen Crest, Akira Inugami is the very furry, bitter and hurting White Knight (sorta) to Akiko Aoshika's gorgeous and kind-hearted but emotionally broken Bright Lady.
- Lyrical Nanoha
- Ellis (Mysterious Waif Lady) and Nadie (Action Girl Knight) from El Cazador de la Bruja, in a Les Yay example.
- Denpa Teki na Kanojo: Inverted, Juuzawa Juu is a King (the Lady), good looking, admirable guy with dignity and nobility that inspires everyone around him, even his enemies, and Ochibana Ame is The Knight as a strong, brave girl of virtue sworn to protect him.
- The Princess Bride: In the beginning, Buttercup was haughty and arrogant (mostly due to her thinking her beloved Wesley is dead), but she grew into her role later; Wesley being her Knight.
- Lady and the Tramp: Lady's role is obvious by her name. Tramp acts as protector when she gets lost in the streets, but is at first reluctant to help her back to her home, as he is leery of humans; in a way, he's also trying to protect her from what he perceives is the shackles of domesticity. His irresponsibility gets Lady in trouble when they raid a chicken coop and she gets taken to the pound, and what she learns about his past there leads to a falling out. He redeems himself by saving Darling and Jim Dear's baby from a rat and eventually warms up to domestic life and becomes a White Knight.
- Shrek plays with both roles. At first Fiona acts the part of Damsel in Distress because of convention, but proves time and time again to be able to defend herself. Likewise, Shrek is only acting as the knight for his own selfish reasons, and has no romantic or chivalrous intentions towards Fiona, at first. He eventually does fall in love with her and the roles are played straight after that.
- Dragonheart has the literal knight Bowen and Kara, the rebellious peasant girl with whom he falls in love. Their holding these roles to each other is made more explicit in the novelization of the movie.
- Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland has Mirana, the White Queen, for its Bright Lady. She actually has two Knights, one being Alice as the presumed hero foretold by prophecy; the other is Tarrant aka the Mad Hatter, although his 'knighthood' is more implied than outright stated.
- Star Wars: Lady Padmé Amidala and Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker. It ends in tears.
- Janice the lovely Hope Bringer (Bright Lady) is introduced with a heroic robot bodyguard (White Knight). He is almost immediately killed and his place taken by Casshern.
- Queen Tara and Ronin in Epic.
- Daenerys Targaryen and Jorah Mormont from A Song of Ice and Fire. Also applies to Daenerys's relationship with Ser Barristan Selmy, although there's nothing romantic about it; nonetheless, he still definitely functions as the Knight to her Lady.
- In The Wheel of Time, this is the purpose of the bond between Warders and Aes Sedai. This is also a case of Sword and Sorcerer.
- Notable examples include former Queen of Andor Morgase Trakand and Tallanvor, Former Amyrlin Seat Suian Sanche and Gareth Bryne, Egwene and Gawain, Elayne and Rand, and Tuon and Matt.
- Another notable example from The Wheel of Time are Moiraine and Lan, the first such pair introduced, and a straighter than usual example because Moiraine was posing as a regular noblewoman. Also, while Morgase and Tallanvor fit this trope, they are not Warder-bonded, and Elayne and Rand probably don't count because they spent so little time together.
- Mandorallen in the Belgariad is a White Knight with two Bright Ladies; he is devoted to the Baroness of Vo Ebor, but is also sworn to defend Ce'Nedra as the Queen's Champion.
- Multiple examples in Arthurian myth, but amongst the most notable would be Gareth and Lynette (where, oddly, they end up marrying each others' siblings).
- As noted in the film section, The Princess Bride has this with Westley and Buttercup. Buttercup's personal growth from stuck-up brat to more deserving of the Bright Lady title is much more prominent in the book.
- Sparhawk and Ehlana in the Elenium trilogy are this in the most literal of senses; Ehlana is Queen of Elenia, and Sparhawk is the Queen's Champion (and later husband).
- Taran and Eilonwy in the Chronicles of Prydain grow into this.
- Saint George and Princess Una in "Saint George and the Dragon".
- In the third novel of The Iron King series, Ash swears a Knight's Oath to Meghan
- Played with and Gender Flipped in the Tortall Universe with Lady Knight Alanna and King Jonathon. Jon, a trained and blooded knight who is also Gifted with magic is perfectly capable of defending himself. Being that he is the Crown Prince and eventually becomes king, he is not often allowed to. At one point, one of his generals has to strongly suggest that Jon and his queen please stop visiting areas affected by a war and go somewhere safe so that he can concentrate on the war effort and not have to worry about their safety. Alanna, as his squire and later the first lady knight in over a century, therefore functions as his protector when she isn't off dispensing Royal Justice.
- Song at Dawn: In this setting it should be expected: there are formal oaths of fealty from White Knights to Bright Ladies, play-acting oaths that are nonetheless emotionally binding, and a contrast between the business end of the relationship and the more intimate aspect. Dragonetz, in particular, is a very popular white knight. By the end of the story three ladies are vying for him.
- The Dresden Files has a bizarre example made horrifying by the circumstances: Harry Dresden, Winter Knight and Molly Carpenter, Winter Lady. Not only does she have unrequited feelings for him, but he's her teacher. Again. But now she has magical influence over his mind. (It's unclear what side of the trope they fall on.)
- Fix, Summer Knight and Lily, Summer Lady are a much more benevolent example. Nearly every scene they're in is a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming, until Lily dies.
- Ivanhoe has, quite naturally, protagonist Wilfred of Ivanhoe and the Lady Rowena playing this straight. Antagonist Brian de Bois-Guilbert would likewise want nothing more than to be able to be the Knight to a rather unwilling Rebecca's Lady towards the end, never mind that she's neither noble nor even Christian, but it ends rather less well for him.
- The House of Night series adores this tropenote . Nearly all Love Confessions, if requited, are followed by the man swearing eternal love and fealty to the woman. Particular examples include Zoey and Stark and Aphrodite and Darius.
- In Rachel Griffin, Sigfried (aged fourteen), swears fealty to princess Nastasia Romanov of Magical Australia (also aged fourteen).
- On Angel Angel accidentally kills a lady's knight (thinking he was a bad guy demon), and has to take his place in a joust for her unborn baby's soul.
- Only partial in Babylon 5: Marcus Cole is knightly but Ivanova is not particularly ladylike, at least not in the classic sense.
- A better example would be Captain Sheridan and Delenn. While Sheridan isn't strictly a knight, he is a very idealistic military officer, and Delenn, former member of the Grey Council and the in later seasons the closest thing Minbar has to a Queen (and a very determined Lady of War to boot).
- Another example is Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, who originally starts out as a Black Knight serving Dark Lady Drusilla, before eventually becoming a sort of White Knight to Buffy herself in later seasons.
- Despite being a servant girl and a mercenary, Guinevere and Lancelot from Merlin are a stunningly accurate example of this trope, especially now that they've begun to grow into their legendary counterparts.
- Game of Thrones: This dynamic exists between the beautiful Daenerys Targaryen and the valiant Ser Jorah Mormont. And later Ser Barristan Selmy when he joins her Queensguard in Season 3.
- Renly Baratheon is the handsome and gentle king who is guarded by two highly skilled and brave knights: Brienne of Tarth (a gender inversion of the trope) and Ser Loras Tyrell (a same-sex variation).
- After Renly is assassinated, Brienne then serves the gracious Lady Catelyn Stark (another same-sex version).
- This is a game mechanic in Ar tonelico games, with Reyvateils and their vanguards.
- It's also the reason why Cocona is so awesome: she's a Reyvateil, but she's a vanguard.
- In Dissidia: Final Fantasy, this is the dynamic between Cosmos, the Goddess of Harmony, and her champion the Warrior of Light.
- Final Fantasy VIII has Rinoa and Squall - although it's worth noting that it's mostly Rinoa keeping them on the "bright" side of the archetype; Squall makes it very clear that he completely does not care about morality as far as keeping Rinoa safe is concerned.
- Edea and Cid Kramer are also a somewhat unorthodox example; he's not by any means a fighter, but he does everything he can to protect Edea and support her emotionally. Late in the story, there's an optional scene where Edea advises a newly-minted sorceress, Rinoa that the best way of dealing with her situation is to find a knight who will "protect her heart."
- Link and Princess Zelda fit this in most if not all of their incarnations, probably most accurately in the original game, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks, and The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword.
- In at least one game, Link became the knight to another princess (Midna), who even lampshaded it once or twice. Also an example of Royals Who Actually Do Something, as she was a very competent Lady.
- Estelle and Flynn from Tales of Vesperia count, though the fact she keeps slipping from his watch could count as a subversion.
- Radiata Stories: Jack apoints himself Ridley's White Knight on the Fairy path and not only protects her but lifts her spirits with endearingly corny jokes. in personality they're the Bright couple but to the humans they're the dark couple, yet Gerald praises him for having the balls to turn against his entire race for the sake of his girl. For her part Ridley is a Bright Lady ojou who is trying to do what she think is right, and is grateful for Jack's support.
- Mario and Princess Peach from Super Mario Bros.. Mario is not a knight by job but otherwise plays the trope straight.
- Fire Emblem loves this trope:
- Fire Emblem Akaneia: Nyna and Camus. Sorta. It's WAY more complicated in the end. Also, Sheema and Samson in the third game.
- Fire Emblem Jugdral: Adean and Midayle, Raquesis and Finn, if we go for the Oosawa manga. There's another very rare genderflipped example: Ferry (Ladyof War Knight) and Lewyn (Modest Royalty Lord)
- Miranda and Connomore in Thracia 776. Her ending only says she married "a certain knight", but the only one who fits in such a description is Connomore. Also, Olwen and Fred.
- Fire Emblem Elibe: In Binding Blade, Clarine's Well, Excuse Me, Princess! nature brings this up in her supports with Lance. In the meantime, her older brother Klein manages to genderflip this with the Pegasus Knight Thite.
- Lyndis and Kent in Blazing Sword. To a smaller degree, Eliwood and Ninian (she isn't royalty, but he has sworn to help and protect both her and her brother Nils), as well as Priscilla and either of her love interests. Though only Erk manages to marry her. Jaffar and Nino aren't royalty (unless you count him being a highranked Black Fang member and her being the adoptive daughter of the leader), but otherwise they fit in perfectly. Also, despite neither being nobility, Dorcas and his wife Natalie count in perfectly — so much that Dorcas refuses to actually become a Knight when Oswin tells him to join the Ostian military, because he will only pledge loyalty to his beloved wife.
- Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones: Eirika and both Seth and Forde. Played with in regards to Tana and Cormag, as he doesn't become her Knight unless you get their shared ending. Natasha and both Seth and Joshua are milder versions of this and since Joshua is a Rebel Prince, it's subverted. Genderflipped with Vanessa and Innes.
- Fire Emblem Tellius: Elincia and Geoffrey. Even more so if you get them hitched and ultimately married via an A Support in Radiant Dawn.
- Fire Emblem Awakening: Genderflipped by both Chrom/either Sully or Sumia (Prince of Ylisse and Cavalier/Pegasus Knight from his realm) and Virion/Cherche (former duke of the fallen country of Rosane and his faithful retainer). Genderflipped and subverted with Chrom/Cordelia, as the latter does not get together with him as she thinks their relationship won't work. Played straighter with Frederick/Lissa (retainer of the Ylisse royalty and Chrom's little sister - doubling as First Love since Frederick was Lissa's first crush), Lissa/Lon'qu (Valmese warrior specifically tasked with guarding Lissa, at least in their supports), and Gaius/Maribelle (Lovable Rogue and Non Royal Princess with a rather complicated shared past). Probably, also Henry/Maribelle (Creepy Good Blood Knight who, if he declares his love to her, offers to be her knight in bloodstained armor).
- Kyo Kusanagi and his girlfriend Yuki in The King of Fighters's Orochi Saga. More specifically, in KOF 97 since it reveals that Yuki is the last descendant of one of the Eight Kushinadas, a group of legendary Barrier Maidens who were ritually sacrificed to bring back Orochi into this world - save for one, which totally ruined the awakening ritual. 1800 years later, Yuki becomes a target of the Orochis who now want to re-awaken Orochi itself; her boyfriend Kyo learns about it from Yashiro, Shermie and Chris, and he is NOT pleased. In the Sacred Treasure Team's ending, when Kyo is contacted by the spirit of the Yasakani, the other thing they ask him for (aside of sealing Orochi with Iori and Chizuru) is to protect "Kushinada" aka Yuki. He does both things, and Yuki is saved.
- In Tales of Symphonia Collette serves as the Bright Lady who wants to save the world and Lloyd is the White Knight that wants to protect her from everybody, including herself.
- Alistair, in Dragon Age: Origins, will behave this way toward a female Warden if his romance arc is pursued. The relationship is really more like Knight and Knight, but he acts like a White Knight in the service of a Bright Lady.
- It can be played almost entirely straight if you make the player character a mage specced for healing.
- Star Wars: The Old Republic:
- Corso Riggs wants to be this for the female Smuggler, but the Smuggler isn't terribly ladylike. A male Smuggler can try being this for Risha, but she doesn't really buy it.
- Doc is a Ladykiller in Love who would like to be this for the female Jedi Knight, but it ends up being a gender inversion (she is the Knight, after all).
- Lt. Felix Iresso, a Republic soldier, and a Light-Sided female Jedi Consular come the closest to playing it straight, but the Consular technically is also a knight (just one who spends a lot of time in diplomatic missions and exploring ancient secrets).
- The Empire gets in on the action, too. A light-sided Bounty Hunter, a character class that uses heavy armor and can equip their suit with blades, can count as a rough-and-ready take on this with Mako, the sweet healer companion.
- A light-sided Sith Warrior can go for this with a light-sided Jaesa Wilsaam. You, the surprisingly moral knight in polished black armor; her, the former Jedi turned moral Sith; the two of you intending to reform the Empire from the outside in, with a platonic relationship between you.
- A gender flipped variation can be done with a light-sided male Sith Sorcerer and Ashara Zavros: you're a Sith who knows where to draw the line and she's a former Jedi who believes that sometimes you have to cross it.
- Ken Masters and his wife Eliza, to a certain degree. Specially in the Ties that Bind OAV, when a pregnant Eliza is kidnapped by Crimson Viper and Ken comes up with some biggest displays of badassery ever to save her and their unborn kid.
- Pit and Palutena in Kid Icarus: Uprising. Granted, she does occasionally like to tease him, but Pit's main motivation is his service to "Lady Palutena" and her ideals of light and goodness - even when others disparage him for acting like little more than an errand boy (though he's in fact captain of her guard).
- Radiant Historia has one of the characters actually joking about how Stocke is basically Eruca's knight. It's a better comparison than they knew- while the two of them had just met in that timeline, in the other one he'd abandoned his country to help her, saved her life numerous times, and done a lot of the work of winning her throne back for her.
- The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim gives us a chaste, gender-flipped version with Jarl Balgruuf and his housecarl, Irileth.
- The player character can have this sort of relationship (albeit a platonic one) with Serana if the Dawnguard DLC is installed.
- Chie and Yukiko in Persona4.
- Maiden Astraea and Garl Vinland in Demons Souls. This dynamic did not change even after she suffered a Crisis of Faith when the Fog arrived and became a Demon. She's still providing comfort to the needy, and he is still her devoted guardian. Should the player kill one of them, the other will commit suicide out of grief.
- In Homestuck's backstory, Feferi (The Empire's compassionate, eternally optimistic heiress) and Eridan (a proud, bombastic warrior who helped feed Feferi's lusus note ) were this...or at least they tried to be. Feferi's influence was the only thing keeping Eridan from being a Black Knight, but at some point she grew sick of being his Living Emotional Crutch and watching over his behavior...
- In Porkchop 'n Flatscreen!, Ayane invoked this (or more specifically, "princess and knight") to describe the relationship between her and Mai when they were younger. For the most part, it seems to have stuck (in a platonic manner, of course).
- Go to a Renaissance faire. You'll find many people enacting the trope.
Dark Lady and Black Knight
Anime & Manga
- Code Geass has the gender-flipped pair of Lelouch as a Fallen Prince and Kallen as his bodyguard Ace Pilot Black Knight.
- Queen Beryl and Evil!Endymion from Sailor Moon, for the mind-control type.
- Lina Inverse and Gourry Gabriev from Slayers. Interestingly, they're actually quite heroic, though Gourry is definitely the more heroic of the pair, with Lina being more of a Type IV Anti-Hero than anything.
- Tao Jun and her mind-controlled zombie puppet kung-fu guy Lee Pai Long from Shaman King — until Lee Pai long is released from his mind control, develops real feelings for her and they both turn good, becoming an example of Bright Lady and White Knight.
- Princess Samedare and the Lizard Knight Yuuhi from The Lucifer and Biscuit Hammer. A rather strange example, since she is actually trying to save the earth, but only so she can destroy it herself. Not to mention she's a Manic Pixie Dream Genki Girl and doesn't seem like a villain at all until she opens her mouth to say she's going to destroy the world.
- Princess Emeraude and Zagato, who we all thought was the Big Bad, from Magic Knight Rayearth. Bet you didn't see that one coming.
- Witch Medusa Gorgon and Mind-controlled Dr.Stein from the Soul Eater anime.
- Genderflipped variation: Ashram and Pirotess from Record of Lodoss War.
- Witch Hunter Robin: Amon and Robin play with the trope. Robin is seen as the Dark Lady by many because of her heritage and some of her actions are brutal considering what the rest of the team does, but at heart she's a Bright Lady trying to do what's right. Amon ultimately betrays both Zizain and SOLOMON to protect Robin from danger and is seen as a Dark Knight whose gone rogue, though he wavers back and forth. Robin herself calls him her "watch dog" because he will make sure she survives unless she loses herself to her power. At which point he will kill her himself.
- Mobile Suit Gundam has an interesting pair in Lady of War Kycilia Zabi and her Dragon, Smug Snake and Sissy Villain M'Quve. While M'Quve may not look the part of the Black Knight, he plays it very well, plotting all of Kycilia's strategies, doing her dirty work, and finally engaging the Gundam in a one-on-one duel on her behalf; his last thoughts, as he dies, are of her.
- In Black Lagoon, Yakuza Princess Yukio Washimine and her Badass bodyguard Ginji Matsuzaki are this. It ends in tears.
- As mentioned above, Siegfried and Hilda from Saint Seiya become this when Hilda is Brainwashed and Crazy. (Normally they're a White Knight and Bright Lady duo.) And basically, Hagen is what happens to a White Knight when his Bright Lady becomes a Defector from Decadence and he can't handle it.
- Diva of Blood+ is a through and through Dark Lady with varying shades of knights (5-7 if one includes back story chevaliers), though most of them are Black or are at least morally ambiguous enough to not be White.
- In Fate Prototype, Manaka Sajyou wanted this with her Servant Saber aka King Arthur (not genderflipped... still). Badly. It failed. But now that she's Back from the Dead, she still wants it. Even after, as said above, the now-returned Saber is playing the White Knight to Manaka's sister Ayaka's White Lady
- The leads of Dance in the Vampire Bund may best be described as Dark Lady & White Knight. Teenage werewolf commando/bodyguard Akira Regendorf is just about as benevolent and noble as they come; however, for all that Vampire Monarch Mina Tepes is just as kindly at heart, centuries of protecting her followers from the mad bastards running the other surviving vampire factions have left her capable of considerable ruthlessness when she perceives a threat.
- The Marvel Comics version of Thor was often opposed by the Enchantress and the Executioner; the latter wielded an axe rather than a sword, but the basics of this trope were in full effect. The Enchantress also tried something similar with the original Power Man (Erik Josten) and later magically brainwashed the heroic Black Knight into serving as her champion for a brief spell.
- Marvel's versions of Morgan Le Fay and Mordred fit this trope in stories set in the Camelot period. Ironically, the hero who opposed them was the aforementioned hero called the Black Knight.
- This was the basic gimmick of the 1980s Batman villainess Nocturna, who used a narcotic perfume and went through two criminal "Black Knights" called the Night-Thief and Nightshade before trying and failing to make Batman her champion.
- An odd, gender-flipped example in Armored Core: from the Ashes. Ghost is a masterful Chessmaster and Magnificent Bastard, and is paired with Fiona Jarnefeldt, a severely Yandere, insane pilot who used to be normal, but prior to the story, was subjected to Mind Rape by Ghost... who she happened to be in love with at the time. However, this is heavily subverted - although his 'Knight' does much of his dirty work, Ghost is an even more competent pilot (explicitly stated to be the best on Earth, tied with Kruger, his Arch-Enemy and the story's Hero Antagonist; this naturally leads to discussion later on of whether they can qualify as gods because of their power), and will often deploy onto the battlefield if things are looking particularly bad to deliver a Curb-Stomp Battle on his enemies (unless Kruger is involved, in which case you either end up with a massive high-speed battle, while the two discuss deep philosophical matters of good and evil, right and wrong, and whether Ghost's actions are justified or not, or one of the two calling a full retreat (which Ghost's Knight may not always obey).
- For that matter, Ghost used to have a weird example of this with a Bright Lady-Black Knight pairing with Holly. He outranked her, but he often insisted that she stay behind and not get herself into trouble, and she could give him orders and he'd obey. Of course, after Holly got Laser-Guided Amnesia, didn't remember Ghost, and Ghost pulled a sort-of Face-Heel Turn to go into opposition against all mankind as part of a plan, this pairing was promptly broken up and replaced with the even stranger one listed above.
- Charissa, Duchess of Tolan and Lord Ian Howell in Deryni Rising. In a subversion, Charissa kills Ian before he can pull a Starscream on her.
- According to Word of God, the earliest draft of the story actually pivoted on a Lady And Knight relationship between the general (Morgan) and the queen mother (Jehana), though they hadn't yet received names at that point. This ship was scrapped in the next draft, and the queen's young son was aged up to become the main character.
- The relationship between Agnes and Harry Jones in The Big Sleep. Like O'Shaunessy's partners, Harry dies to protect the ultimately disloyal and uncaring Agnes.
- Cersei and Jaime Lannister from A Song of Ice and Fire fit this trope to a T. Both are amoral schemers. Jaime solves problems with his sword and is totally devoted to Cersei. Cersei, for her part, uses sex to get whatever she wants, and schemes with the best of them. Eventually falls apart when Jaime rediscovers his moral compass and finds himself increasingly disgusted with Cersei's antics.
- Opal Koboi and Briar Cudgeon have this Dynamic in Artemis Fowl The Artic Incident. Opal is the ojou who does her techo-wizardy from a safe distance and Cudgeon is the Fallen Hero in the thick of things. "I shall be the hero of the resistance and you shall be my princess."
- Appears in C.S. Lewis's The Silver Chair. The Analysis section mentions that it's very common for Black Knights to be mind-controlled by their Dark Ladies: that's what happens here, between the Brainwashed Prince Rilian and the Lady of the Green Kirtle. It ends up backfiring when Rilian, fully released from the brainwashing by the Power Trio (Jill, Eustace and Puddleglum), turns against the Lady and kills her when she takes her serpent form.
- Legacy of the Dragokin: Mordak becomes a black knight for dark lady Zarracka; he calls her 'my dear' and says he'll be her protector. He's playing into her ego; she's nothing but a spare body to him.
- A variant appears in Tithe, the first of Holly Black's Modern Tales of Faerie, where the Seelie knight Rath Roiben Rye is unwillingly pressed into service as the Black Knight for the Unseelie Queen Nicnevin...out of devotion and unrequited love for her sister, Queen Silarial of the Seelie Court. In the second book, Ironside the dynamic is reversed, with Roiben having become the Unseelie King himself while his lover Kaye goes on a quest to save his life and win his hand.
- Various modern-day versions of Arthurian Legend treat Morgaine Le Fay as the partner or boss of Mordred; the actual legends and romances don't reflect this, but the story of The Green Knight could fit because she uses her magic to help his beheading game.
- Vocaloids Rin and Len, as the Daughter of Evil and Servant of Evil, respectively. The 14-year-old queen rules with an iron fist, squandering money seized from her people and executing protesters. Her twin brother acts as her knight, shielding her from hatred and allowing her to retain her childlike innocence. When a foreign prince favored a green-haired lady over her, she ordered her brother to murder her and everyone else with green hair, not realizing he'd fallen in love with that girl. When the people finally revolt against her, they exchange clothing and he dies in her place.
- Spoofed in an episode of The Tick with the overweight grotesque Venus and her wimpy inventor husband Milo.
- In Winx Club there's a Dark Lady/Dark Knight example with Darcy and Riven. In the 4Kids version, he is put under a spell, while in the original version, he works with Darcy willingly. Luckily, Riven has a Heel-Face Turn.