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->''"The bards were feared. They were respected, but more than that they were feared. ...If you'd pissed off some witch, then what's she gonna do, she's gonna put a curse on you... no big deal. You piss off a bard, and forget about putting a curse on you, he might put a satire on you. ''
->''"And if he was a skilful bard, he puts a satire on you, it destroys you in the eyes of your community... and if it's a particularly good bard, and he's written a particularly good satire, then three hundred years after you're dead, people are still gonna be laughing, at what a twat you were.''
-->-- '''Creator/AlanMoore'''


OlderThanFeudalism, the bard is a character within a story that acts as a poet, WanderingMinstrel, storyteller, and/or source of morale for people around them.

"TheBard" is also commonly used to refer to Creator/WilliamShakespeare. In England, anyway. In Scotland, The Bard is Creator/RobertBurns.

In medieval Gaelic and British culture (Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Isle of Man, Brittany and Cornwall) a bard was a professional poet, employed by a patron, such as a monarch or nobleman, to commemorate the patron's ancestors and to praise the patron's own activities. The word itself is loaned from Scottish Gaelic, deriving from the Proto-Celtic ''bardos'', ultimately from Proto-Indo-European, which roughly translates as "''to raise the voice; praise''."

In game cultures such as Dungeons & Dragons, the Bard is a versatile character able to both fight strategically and cast magic [[MagicMusic through the power of their songs]], suggesting them to be magicians who use the power of emotion and creativity to conjure miracles into the world.

SpoonyBard is a subtrope of this, while TheStoryteller is a supertrope. See also WanderingMinstrel.

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!!Examples:

[[AC:FanFic]]
* Bumblebee and Jazz share this role in the {{Transformers}} FanFic ''FanFic/ThingsWeDontTellHumans''.
* Hurdy in ''FanFic/TheTaintedGrimoire'' is such. He tells stories and is capable of using his music to various effect in combat or support roles.
* ''FanFic/KyoshiRising'' has Sun, a WanderingMinstrel from a long line of Wandering Minstrels. He meets Kyoshi early in her journey and does his best to help her achieve her potential.

[[AC:{{Film}}]]
* Sir Robin's Minstrels in ''Film/MontyPythonAndTheHolyGrail'', one of whom sings "[[http://www.metrolyrics.com/brave-sir-robin-ran-away-lyrics-monty-python.html Brave Sir Robin Ran Away]]".
* Geoffrey Chaucer is a hilarious one in ''AKnightsTale''

[[AC:{{Literature}}]]
* In the ''Literature/HarryPotter'' series, Beedle the Bard was known for his collection of magical fables.
* A couple of these in the {{Deryni}} works:
** Kinkellyan, chief bard to the court of Transha, plays a part in the diplomatic welcome Kelson receives in ''The Bishop's Heir''. Kelson's response [[spoiler:(joining in a traditional dance)]] to what Kinkellyan and Dhugal begin seals the deal.
** Gwydion ap Plenneth, troubadour attached to Duke Alaric Morgan's court, featured in ''Deryni Checkmate''. Aside from providing entertainment, he's quite useful in providing Morgan with public opinion feedback.
* Creator/MercedesLackey has an entire series, ''Literature/BardicVoices'', set around the conflict between the Free Bards and the Bardic Guild. Several have MagicMusic.
* The Edema Ruh from ''TheKingkillerChronicles'' seem to be a society of travelling entertainers including many bards.
* Bards feature in MercedesLackey's HeraldsOfValdemar series, though much less prominently than the Heralds.
* A bard shows up in ''Literature/TheOdyssey''. He might even be Creator/{{Homer}}'s AuthorAvatar.
* Norna-Gest, the protagonist of "Literature/TaleOfNornaGest", is an accomplished harp-player and singer who knows many ancient songs.
* It can be argued that Tom Bombadil from ''LordOfTheRings'' is indeed a bard, the figure known for singing songs that hold power over not only people, but the more ancient denizens of Middle Earth.

[[AC:LiveActionTV]]
* ''XenaWarriorPrincess'': For a while Gabrielle wanted to be a traveling bard. She also met {{Homer}}, who it turns out is called "blind" because he closes his eyes when he recites.

[[AC:RealLife]]
* Historically, William Shakespeare was known for his title as "The Bard of Avon."
* Skalds were poetic members of a group associated with Viking tradition, and were highly revered for their stories, since individual vikings desired their glory to be remembered through tale and song.

[[AC:TabletopGames]]
* TheBard is one of the main playable classes in ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons''.

[[AC:VideoGames]]
* Leliana from the ''Franchise/DragonAge'' series used to be a traveling Bard (or rather, a spy/assassin who disguised herself as a traveling Bard -Apparently that's pretty common in Orlais). She comes with the Bard specialization and will teach it to other Rogues if her approval rating is high enough. Additionally, much of her dialogue includes stories and songs she learned during her time as a Bard.
* ''TheBardsTaleTrilogy'' has a few with the MagicMusic power.
* The Bard from ''VideoGame/ShovelKnight'' will play any song from the game's soundtrack for you if you get him the music sheets. He'll also pay you 500 gold for each music sheet you bring him, which is another incentive to collect them.
* Jimmy from ''VideoGame/SouthParkTheStickOfTruth'' is a bard who uses MagicMusic.

[[AC:{{Webcomics}}]]
* In ''{{Feywinds}}'', when Prince Sidney Theodorus Cassian Merriweather Findain VIII... Just call him Sid, reveals to the main characters whose group he just joined that he's trained as a bard, they ''smash'' his lute and shove a sword into his hands.
* Elan from ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'', as seen in [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0004.html this scene from early in the comic]].
* In ''Webcomic/FarOut'', [[http://kimiq.com/farout/en/2013/02/13/farout-page-24/ Chapter 1 ends with one singing about the events in it.]]
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