Peerless Love Interest
In some works, a hero, possibly a Knight in Shining Armor, falls in love with a woman based solely on his perceived image of her as so perfect that he could never actually be together with her. Some knights had, indeed, fallen in love with the princess owing to hearing descriptions of her, without seeing her. If there are class distinctions, she is of a higher societal rank than he is. She usually comes from a wealthy family, and an old family, and is treated as if she's the World's Most Beautiful Woman, which might give her Attractiveness Isolation. To top it all off, even if she is spoiled she's actually a genuinely worthwhile lady. The hero is generally determined to fight to prove his worthiness of her, or to defend her honor or reputation, thus becoming The Champion to her. One literary term for this type of character—the girl who is too perfect to be obtained—is the princesse lointaine.note The story is just as likely to be contemporary as historical. Contrast Girl Next Door. Often leads to Loving a Shadow.
ExamplesAnime and Manga
- Kannazuki no Miko has a lesbian example. Chikane is such a perfect girl that even having the courage to propose to her elevates you above the other students. The main character, Himeko, is absolutely smitten by her and believes that she's living the dream when (due to one thing and another) she begins living with her. Deconstructed — crazy things happen and in the end, Chikane is revealed to be neither angel nor devil, just a girl the same age as Himeko. There's no such thing as a peerless lover.
- Maken-ki!: Usui falls for Himegami, who's considered to be one of the hottest girls at Tenbi Academy. Which made his chances of hooking up with her seem unlikely to begin with; becoming much less likely once he and the others learn she's the daughter of Yamato no Orochi. Meaning, she's both royalty and a demi-goddess! But she subverts it near the end of chapter 65, when she tells him she's not above him and finally provides him with a faint glimmer of hope.
- In A Knight's Tale the peasant William falls in love with the noble lady Jocelyn.
William: Geoff, 'tis my lady.Geoffrey: Oh, geez, William, you aim too high.William: Oh, if there's another way to aim, I don't know it.
- For her part, she seems used to this reaction from young knights and doesn't really respond to his advances with anything but amusement bordering on annoyance until he stops treating her like an ideal by actually listening to her and trying to get to know her as a person.
- In Titanic (1997), Jack is told "Ah, forget it, boyo. You're as like to have angels fly out your arse as get next to the likes of her."
- Dianne Court from Say Anything. Since she's beautiful and the valedictorian, everyone assumes that she's completely unapproachable. When Lloyd Dobler asks her out and she accepts everyone is astonished, especially Lloyd himself.
- In the Chivalric Romance The Earl of Toulos, the earl falls in love with his enemy's wife and sneaks in his lands to catch a glimpse of her. Then he withdraws until she is accused of adultery. Whereupon he goes in disguise to act as her champion and clear her name. (Some variants have an ending tacked on where she is widowed and they marry.)
- In another Chivalric Romance, Sir Degravant, Degravant, persecuted by his neighbor, falls in love with his daughter and risks himself on a venture to his enemy's lands, where he catches a glimpse of her and has to fight free. Later he wins The Tourney in which her hand is the prize.
- Essentially how Dan Humphrey falls in love with Serena van der Woodsen on Gossip Girl. Many of their problems as a couple arise from the fact that she can't possibly live up to the image of her he's created in his mind.
- "She's So High" by Tal Bachman is all about this:
She's so high
High above me, she's so lovely
She's so high
Like Cleopatra, Joan of Arc, or Aphrodite
- This happens all the time in the Pendragon game. The rules actually force knights to fall in love with (develop a Passion/Amor for) women, usually higher class noblewomen of the setting. One of the most common targets was Queen Guenever (sic).
- In La Princesse Lontaine, a knight falls in love with a princess solely from hearing a description of her beauty and virtues.
- In Love Plus, Manaka is seen as this by the other students due to her great grades, beautiful looks, amazing tennis skills, high-standing family, and overly-polite behaviour. For this reason, no-one really tries to get close to her, causing her some deal of angst and social awkwardness as she isn't sure how to make genuine friends. One background character even says at one point that it's like she lives in a totally different world to everyone else.
- Most Tokimeki Memorial games, including the Girls' Side series, have as the main love interest a seemingly perfect character who is beautiful, athletic, intelligent, beloved by the school populace, and easily the most difficult character to win over.
- Kotonoha Katsura from School Days starts as this. The guys at her school either look at her from afar or ogle her Gag Boobs without actually asking her for a date, since not only she's considered to be beautiful and smart but also comes from a millionaire family. (In the meantime, almost all the girls either ignore or bully her out of jealousy and envy.) Makoto Itou is the first guy who ever asks her out, and he himself had also been also liking her from afar at first...
- This was Ralph Hayes, Jr.'s intention for Lily in Under the Lemon Tree. Didn't work. Utterly forgotten by Goblin Hollow.