Noble Male, Roguish Male

Demon Hunter: You often argue with Lyndon. Why?
Kormac: Our motivations are complete contradictions of one another. I am driven by honor and the good of others. He is driven by greed and a calling that comes from below his waist.

Two male characters portray different aspects of masculinity. The Noble Male is generally world-wise, gentlemanly, and sophisticated — while the Roguish Male is generally reckless, wild, and prone towards fighting. The former will generally focus on a single special lady and treat her with the highest respect while the latter tends more toward sleeping around with many women or is just not interested in sex and romance at all. If he is, romance with him is likely to be destructive, deadly even, if he is any good with women at all.

Basically the Noble Man is what the single woman is looking for and the Roguish Man is what all girls lust after.

This is the Spear Counterpart to Light Feminine and Dark Feminine, which contrasts two aspects of femininity. Differs from Sensitive Guy and Manly Man in that the Noble Male is still very much considered "manly" — but is so in a more chivalrous fashion, rather than in an aggressive fashion.

The Noble Male can be the Betty in a male Betty and Veronica love triangle. Also related is Red Oni, Blue Oni, with the Noble Male being the Blue to the Roguish Male's Red. Female examples of this trope are likely to be Bifauxnen and Lad-ette.

As with any two character trope, the two characters have to have some sort of relationship with each other, be it friends, family, love interests, or rivals for a love interest, so the two characters can be playing the traits directly off each other.

Interestingly, in modern Western culture, "feminine" usually implies Light Feminine — while "manly" tends to imply Roguish Male. See Female Angel, Male Demon for more.


Anime and Manga
  • Axis Powers Hetalia: Germany and Prussia, with Germany as Noble and Prussia as Roguish. Prussia may have these dynamics with India (Noble) as well, judging by Hetaween 2011.
    • Austria and Prussia fit this dynamic. Austria is a terrible fighter who bows to others in greeting and can play classical piano music. Prussia is an arrogant warrior who insults and harasses others and doesn't know how to spell the name of the location he wants to conquer.
    • England is a composite of both, being disapproving gentleman sipping tea in one strip and a raging drunk swearing like the sailor he used to be in the next.
    • Switzerland combines the two. On one hand, he's willing to help those in need and make sacrifices for his loved ones; on the other hand, he has terrible mood swings and casually shoots at people if they get close to his territory.
  • The Vision of Escaflowne: Allen is the chivalrous Knight in Shining Armor, while Van is the violent Blood Knight. They are even color-coded.
  • Berserk: Guts is an ultra-manly and uncivilized Byronic Hero and Griffith is a sophisticated and manipulative Cultured Badass. Guts is very much the Roguish Male in most things, including not being interested in sex or romance (at least, until he meets Casca). Griffith, on the other hand, shows what a Noble Male is capable of when he goes bad. And it is horrific.
    • Then later, the calm and noble Serpico forms this contrast with Guts.
  • Sha Gojyo as the Roguish Male and Cho Hakkai as the Noble Male from Saiyuki. This being Saiyuki however, Hakkai isn't entirely as noble as he seems.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!: Early on, Tristan/Honda (Noble Man) and Joey/Jounouchi (Roguish Man) had this dynamic, but as Joey went through Character Development, he started becoming a more heroic character...right about the same time Duke/Otohi became a recurring minor character and filled this slot better than Joey ever had. It especially became clear in regards to their pursuit of Jou's sister, Serenity/Shizuka, with Dogged Nice Guy Tristan performing gesture after gesture of kindness and self-sacrifice towards her, while Handsome Lech Duke sweeps her off her feet with his charm.
  • Nanami's two familiars, Mizuki and Tomoe, from Kamisama Kiss qualify. Mizuki is almost always polite and respectfully to other people, even though he is a bit naive sometimes, a Genius Ditz and is something of a shut-in. Tomoe's personality ranges from Jerk Ass to Jerk with a Heart of Gold and his interests include booze and trips to the Red Light District.
  • In Fruits Basket; Yuki is the polite, sweet Noble Guy in stark contrast to rogue, Tsundere Kyo.
  • Played with in Magic Knight Rayearth. Subverted with Ferio, who at first seems to be a rogue guy, but he really is a noble guy since he is Princess Emeraude's younger brother. Lafarga may seem rogue and imponent, but he really is the captain of the royal guard- although in the second season his true down to earth temperament shows better.
  • In Kyo Kara Maoh!, Conrad Weller is the Noble Male: an upstanding knight, loyal to his king to the point of stupidity, actually of noble birth in both human and demon lands, and a chivalrous fighter. His best friend Jozak is the Roguish Male, a cynical and worldly-wise spy and Combat Pragmatist who has no problem with the idea of manipulating their new, inexperienced king for his own good. Throughout the series, though, it's consistently shown that of the two, Jozak is more emotionally healthy.
  • The anime version of Code:Breaker has Masaomi Heike and Toki Fujiwara. Masaomi enjoys tea and cakes out in public while Toki skips school and gropes a girl's chest.

Comic Books

Films — Animated

Films — Live-Action
  • Star Wars:
    • Han is the rugged space-pirate and Luke is the pure-hearted moisture farmer in the original trilogy.
    • The latter two Prequels have Obi-Wan, who very much embodies the ideals of the Jedi, and Anakin, who is the brooding Byronic Hero who eventually goes Dark Side.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: Will Turner is polite, chivalrious and loyal while Captain Jack Sparrow is devious and has a severe case of Chronic Backstabbing Disorder. Throughout the first three films Will only has eyes for his childhood friend Elizabeth, while Jack is regularly slapped by former lovers.
  • Picnic at Hanging Rock: Mike is the blond, noble-born and British youngman while is Aussie valet and friend Albert is dark, sooo manly and outspoken.
  • Deadpool: Colossus is a polite and chivalrous Cape, while Deadpool is a Heroic Comedic Sociopath with a crude sense of humor.

  • A Brother's Price has Jerin Whistler(noble) and Keifer Porter (roguish), as love interests of the princesses. The love interests for the Whistler sisters also fall into this category, with the roguish, uncaring and sexually promiscuous Balin Brindle, and Cullen Moorland who is sweet and gentle. The Whistler family and the Brindle family are different in that the Brindles usually start fights at social gatherings, while the Whistlers end them, swiftly and without excessive violence. The Brindles are uncultivated country folk, while the Whistlers have manners fit for a royal court.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire has Ned Stark (noble) and Robert Baratheon (roguish). Robb Stark (noble) and Theon Greyjoy (roguish).
    • Another example in the series are Robb Stark's two most notable bannermen, the Wicked Cultured Roose Bolton and the Boisterous Bruiser Greatjon Umber. Similar to Berserk's example of Griffith and Guts respectively, Roose is an utter monster masking his Axe Crazy, sadistic nature behind a gentlemanly veneer and while Greatjon Umber may be quite sexist he is overall a good man.
  • There's romantic rivals Edward (moody) and Jacob (loyal) from Twilight. Edward tends to be more noble and chivalrous (to the point of being old-fashioned), while Jacob is more of the bad boy who is impulsive and tries to pick fights with Edward on multiple occasions.
  • In Dragon Bones, there are the brothers Garranon and Landislaw. Garranon looks like a graceful stag, Landislaw more like a bull, or that's what the ladies at court say. Their personalities match; Garranon is gentle and kind, while Landislaw is rather a bad boy. Their first appearance is due to the fact that Landislaw bought a slave that didn't really belong to the seller, and said slave has escaped to Hurog. Garranon wants to retrieve the slave to get his brother out of trouble, but is polite about it and treats Ward (who everyone thinks is mentally retarded, due to his Obfuscating Stupidity) with respect. Landislaw tries to grab Ward to shake him, which doesn't go well as Ward is a Gentle Giant who can drop the gentleness if provoked.
  • In Song of the Lioness, Alanna is torn between Jon, the Noble Male (literally, he's a prince), and George, the Roguish Male (again, literally, he's the king of thieves and often called The Rogue).
  • Done on a racial level in The Death Gate Cycle with the Sartan playing the part of the Noble, and the Patryns playing the Rogue. Of course, various members skew differently and there are a few Not So Different moments.
  • The Dresden Files has Michael Carpenter, Knight in Shining Armor, sliding right into the Noble Male role whenever he's sharing the page with the more anti-heroic protagonist Harry Dresden. Harry is often the Noble Male when paired with other men of the series, most notably Thomas, but it's hard to rank as noble when compared to Michael Carpenter.
  • Raymond E. Feist loves this trope: the early books (and many of the later ones) in The Riftwar Cycle all revolve two male protagonists who slot neatly into these roles:
    • Magician: Tomas (noble) and Pug (roguish)
    • Silverthorn and A Darkness at Sethanon: Prince Arutha conDoin (noble) and Jimmy the Hand (roguish)—literal in this case.
      • The backstory implies Arutha's father Duke Borric was the noble to his cousin Guy du Bas-Tyra's rogue.
    • Shadow of a Dark Queen: Erik von Darkmoor (noble) and Roo Avery (roguish)
  • Simona Ahrnstedt gives us Seth and Johan in her debut novel Överenskommelser. Seth might be a better man than what you might think at first, but he does have a roguish thing going on, and he just keeps having meaningless affairs with numerous women. Johan is noble and pretty much flawless. But they're still close friends, and also, they eventually get married to two cousins. note 
  • The Hunger Games: Peeta Mellark as the noble male, Gale Hawthorne as the roguish male. Peeta is gentle, kind, chivalrous, has quite the way with words and advocates diplomacy over violence (even, at times, during the actual Hunger Games). Gale is hot blooded and passionate, believes that the ends justify the means, eager to go out and fight, and became his family's main provider at age thirteen when he began poaching (eventually together with Katniss).

Live-Action TV
  • Apollo and Starbuck from Battlestar Galactica (1978). While Starbuck is a gambler and smoker who tends to find himself in fights and generally juggles between two women (or maybe more), Apollo is more reserved when it comes to duty and women - the latter of which he unfortunately doesn't seem to have luck with, and is also a Parental Substitute.
  • " Buffy the Vampire Slayer & " Angel ":
    • Angel is noble, selfless, calm, reserved, and generally chivalrous and gentlemanly. He goes to great lengths to help people and to achieve redemption for his past. While he has had other relationships, he's primarily bound to his love for Buffy (main love interest). Spike, in contrast, is roguish and nearly Angel's complete opposite: reckless, wild, emotional, and bursting with blunt snark. He IS though fairly devoted to Buffy as well despite his sharper edges.
  • In Castle, Ryan is noble- upstanding, by-the-book, hopelessly devoted to his wife Jenny (and a romantic even before they were married), while Esposito is roguish- troubled past, willing to go behind the captain's back, flirts with various female characters (though loyal to Lanie when they're actually in a relationship).
  • In Firefly Simon is the obvious noble male example being gentlemanly in manner and loyal and kind towards his sister. Jayne is the opposite extreme being violent and selfish. Mal is in between; he is Not So Different from Simon as far as determination and protectiveness go but he is less polished in mannerism.
  • In GARO Kouga Saezima is the Noble Male While Rei Suzumura is the Roguish Male
  • Stefan and Damon Salvatore from The Vampire Diaries. Stefan is polite and abstains from drinking human blood. Damon makes snide remarks and kills people on a whim.
  • The Doctor and Adric in Season 18 of Doctor Who were an attempt at doing this. Adric is young, arrogant, rogueish, relatively uneducated (despite being a star student by his own culture's standards) and tends to cheat or whine in order to get his way. The Doctor is ancient, brooding, philosophical (despite being one of the more swashbuckling Doctors), extremely knowledgeable and tries to keep to a strict moral code. The Doctor is the flirt of the two, but he's recently lost his Implied Love Interest and seems to have shifted far beyond concern.

Video Games
  • Final Fantasy IV has Cecil a Dark Is Not Evil Black Knight Bishōnen (who eventually atones for his sins and becomes a Paladin) as noble, and Edge, the flirtatious, impulsive Ninja fits the Roughish.
  • Kormac the Templar (noble) and Lyndon the Scoundrel (roguish), two of your three followers from Diablo III. Kormac is a noble paladin type who falls hard for Eirena, your third follower, while Lyndon is a quite unrepentant rogue who is not nearly as good at attracting women as he thinks. This being Diablo, the two have Hidden Depths — Kormac is revealed to have been lied to and brainwashed by his order, while Lyndon is doing everything in his power to pay off the Merchant's Guild and get his brother out of prison.
  • Innes and Ephraim in Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones play it around. Looks and fighting-skills wise, Archer Archetype Innes looks Noble while spear-user Ephraim looks Roguish, but their personalities say the inverse: logical, cool-headed and Not Good with People Innes is the real Roguish one, while the charismatic, sensitive and impulsive Ephraim is more of the Noble one.
  • Tales of Symphonia has an example with stoic, businesslike Kratos Aurion, who remains loyal to the Big Bad, his friend and traveling companion from thousands of years ago, and the caustic, defiant Yuan, who is running La Résistance to defeat the plans of the same individual. It's more apparent in OVA and Tales of Fandom 2 flashbacks, from before both of them hit their Cynicism Catalyst: Kratos was an idealist at heart, while Yuan was far more practical and cynical even before Martel's death. Naturally, even when on different sides, they remain Vitriolic Best Buds underneath all the bitterness.
  • Flynn Scifo is the Knight in Shining Armor to the lone wolf vigilante Yuri Lowell.
  • Guilty Gear has friendly rivals and occasionally partners Sol Badguy and Ky Kiske.
  • Similar to the above, Ragna and Jin in Blazblue. Jin was brought up in a noble family in refined culture, and learned to fight as a Teen Genius in a prestigious Military Academy. He fights in a graceful and elegant style with Yukianesa, a long katana crafted from solid ice. By contrast, Ragna never received a proper education and grew up as a criminal, learning how to fight under the legendary hero Jubei. He relies more on brute force with Bloodscythe, a large angular sword that can transform into a scythe. Both of them care little for the world and both of them are assholes (Ragna isn't a complete asshole, though).
  • Kiyotaka Ishimaru the Ultimate Moral Compass and Mondo Oowada the Ultimate Biker Gang Leader in Danganronpa are this respectively. At first the two come to blows by how different their views on strength are, until they decide that argument in an endurance contest that sees them become best friends over the similarities in their philosophies.
  • Final Fantasy VII:
    • Cloud and Barret. Cloud's blond, pale, blue-eyed, androgynously beautiful (but still unambiguously masculine), a former soldier, pragmatic, chivalrous and a sword-fighter, and while he can be flashy and superficial he's ultimately quite introverted. Barret's a Hot-Blooded Scary Black Man and terrorist with a vicious temper, little ability to restrain his emotions, and a huge gun mounted onto one of his arms. Out of the two of them, Cloud is the flirt, but Barret's more experienced (having been married) - in one scene he advises Cloud to ask either Aeris or Tifa on a date, something Cloud claims not to have interest in.

Web Comics
  • Hades and Alexander in Olympus Overdrive. Their whole quarrel started in their different ideas of how a real man is supposed to be and must react. Hades insist that a real man must be respectable, collected and poised, using violence as last resort; Alex instead thinks A Real Man Is a Killer Blood Knight and must fix his problems with his fists.
  • Nicholas and Jackson of The Wretched Ones.

Western Animation
  • Adventure Time: The Fionna and Cake episodes prominently feature sweet, kindhearted Prince Gumball and snarky punk-rocker Marshall Lee the Vampire King.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender: gives us the violent and tempermental Xin Fu and his partner, the calm and refined Fu.
  • Young Justice has Aqualad and Superboy. Aqualad is the mature leader and Superboy is the temperamental muscle.
  • ThunderCats (2011): Lion-O is the Noble Male to Tygra's Roguish Male. Played with, in that initially Tygra fits his species ideal standards of noble much closer than Lion-O, but Lion-O is, generally, much more idealistic and altruistic.

Alternative Title(s): Light Masculine And Dark Masculine