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The Paladin

My good blade carves the casques of men,
My tough lance thrusteth sure,
My strength is as the strength of ten,
Because my heart is pure.
Lord Alfred Tennyson, "Sir Galahad"

Paladins are warriors dedicated to furthering the cause of all that is good. Holy crusaders, they combat the forces of evil wherever they are found, and defend the helpless as much as possible. Above all else, paladins are good. An evil paladin is a literal contradiction of terms; a paladin that turns evil ceases to be a paladinnote . As holy warriors, they're almost always associated with The Order, which are usually religious, or at least spiritual, in nature. While their Order may be tied to a specific church worshiping a God of Good, they are just as often dedicated to a more general power (frequently The Light). As such, paladins are frequently Church Militants and may have aspects of the Warrior Monk. When not part of The Order, they will instead be a Knight Errant. The term "Paladin" comes from a cycle of historical literature which includes The Song of Roland, where the Paladins are Charlemagne's greatest knights and serve as an idealized symbol of courage and purity.

Paladins tend to fall in the middle of the Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism. They certainly believe that Humans Are Good, but they tend to deal with most evil by killing it rather than trying to redeem it. The archetypal paladin is a Lawful Good Knight in Shining Armor for whom Right Makes Might, but this isn't always the case. Though always good, paladins are not always nice. They may even be a Knight in Sour Armor — but never a Well-Intentioned Extremist or a Knight Templar. When faced with a To Be Lawful or Good dilemma, a paladin's best option is to choose to do Good

A popular Character Class in both digital and tabletop Role-Playing Games, Paladins tend to be Magic Knight variants who focus more on White Magic and defense compared to the Magic Knight's offensive spell-slinging. As such, they usually fill the role of the tank in groups, though they may be able to function as a Combat Medic as well; when not working with a party, they're usually a Mighty Glacier. Paladins in games are usually very effective against evil enemies, particularly The Legions of Hell and The Undead — they almost always have the ability to use Detect Evil and Smite Evil against such foes.

Tabletop Games have a special relationship with the paladin, particularly Dungeons & Dragons, which codified many paladin tropes. Tabletop paladins are stereotypically exceptionally prone to being Lawful Stupid or Stupid Good, and Jerkass DMs are extremely fond of encouraging this by setting up Sadistic Choices invoking To Be Lawful or Good. As noted above, the correct answer is "good", but don't expect that to make much difference against determined GMs. Ideally a Paladin's fall from grace should be a terrible punishment for choosing to perform either a genuinely Disorderly or Evil act, not the result of forcing a sadistic choice.

Compare Magic Knight (the more generalized and/or offensively-oriented counterpart to this trope), Combat Medic (who has healing as first priority and combat second), The Paragon (the archetypical personality for a paladin), and Good Shepherd (replace 'knight' with 'priest').

Not related to C. J. Cherryh's stand-alone book The Paladin.


Examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • Heathcliff from Sword Art Online is known as The Paladin and his skills are light based and he is helping the trapped player finish the game.However the reveal shows that he is the Big Bad and plans on betraying the players and become the final boss which invokes more of a Light Is Not Good version of this trope.
    • Yūki Asuna would have been a more true to form example in the first story arch. Though she took a couple levels of Damsel in Distress during the second arch, so it evens out.
  • Hellsing
    • Father Alexander Anderson of the Vatican's Special Section XIII is almost always referred to as "Paladin Anderson" or somesuch variant. Interestingly he's a rare Hero Antagonist variant, as the actual protagonist is both an Ax-Crazy Blood Knight Protestant-enslaved vampire and a Sociopathic Hero. Not that they're all that different in that respect.
    • Also interesting is Section XIII's Badass Creed, which we hear when they show up in force. In it, they self-identify as God's assassins, violating all of the Church's Commandments in the name of Judas Iscariot in the hope both of furthering the Church's cause and damning their souls as a way of passing on to and invading Hell. They're still probably paladins in comparison to the rest of the Church's militant orders... which says something about those.
  • The Royal Knights of the wider Digimon canon are this, an order of immensely powerful knight Digimon convened to serve the god of the Digital World (whoever that may be in that particular universe); the order was founded by, appropriately enough, Imperialdramon Paladin Mode. All members of the Royal Knights are very different from each other and have very different sets of powers, so they fit the related powers tendency only to varying degrees. The most prominent members of the order include Omegamon, Magnamon, Dukemon, Dynasmon and LordKnightmon.
  • In Blue Exorcist only the most badass exorcists are given the title of Paladin. The previous one was Rin and Yukio's foster father. The current one is a dick.

    Comic Books 
  • Priam Agrivar from DC's Advanced Dungeons & Dragons and Forgotten Realms titles back in the 80s, one of the better fleshed-out examples of the classic D&D-style (AD&D 2nd Edition in particular) paladin — complete with all-too-human failings (like lingering alcoholism) and doubts but ultimately the determination to prove himself worthy as well. Interestingly, he seems to owe formal allegiance to no specific faith or other organization, or if he does, it's never shown; he always appears as essentially his own man trying to do good as best he understands it, and his powers seem to work well enough regardless.

    Fan Works 
  • Balian of Ibelin in the Chance Encounter series pretty much is this trope. Considering one of his nicknames is "The Perfect Knight" and going down to hell to fight the Devil for the soul of his dead wife (while he does get smashed around by Satan with ease, he is assisted by the recently canonized by the Archangel Gabriel Prince Hector of Troy. Yes it is very strange) this is hardly surprising. He is also something of a Woobie, as it is pretty much guaranteed that he will be maimed at least once every 4-6 chapters. As well as being possessed by a dark version of himself.
  • Sloane from the Tale of Solaron, is a paladin of Pelor, and plays it straight, being honorable and brave in the face of danger, though it often blinds him to subtleties and complicated motivations.
  • In Allronix's TinMan fanfic, the Tin Men themselves are of this trope, created by Empress Dorothy to honor the original Tin Man, Nick Chopper, sworn to serve and protect the citizens of Oz "from the greatest monarch to the smallest insect."

    Films — Live-Action 

    Literature 
  • The main character of The Deed of Paksenarrion eventually becomes one. The author's intention behind that character was to be Lawful Good without being Lawful Stupid.
  • The three Knights of the Cross in The Dresden Files are paladins, complete with holy swords. Each sword carries in its hilt one of the nails that pierced the White Christ. A Mission from God to go where they are most needed and help those who need to be saved. And some wear plate armor; Michael in particular fits the trope. Some of them pack more modern gear and weapons, like Sanya, who carriers a Kalashnikov. They're also notable for being one of the most positive portrayals of paladins in all of fiction, being good, honest, kind-hearted people who don't force their beliefs on others and help anyone who truly needs it. In fact, their primary mission when dealing with the Order of the Blackened Denarius, at most thirty people who each claim a silver denariu coinsnote  and within them is a Fallen Angel, is not to execute them but save them from their path of darkness and offer them redemption.
    • Special mention goes to Murphy, although she is not one of the Knights yet. Murphy is a policewoman who believes in protecting the innocent against supernatural threats as well as human ones, and so she fights alongside Harry, acting as his conscience and saving the world.
  • Holger Carlson, who traveled into the Matter of France and became one of Charlemagne's paladins, Olgier the Dane, in Poul Anderson's Three Hearts and Three Lions, was an inspiration for the D&D character class.
  • The various holy Champions in The War Gods series by David Weber take upon various aspects of this archetype including the Church Militant, Lawful Good (for the protagonist and his fellows) and even the classic Healing Hands.
  • The Church Knights from The Elenium by David Eddings are Paladins, though it can be hard to see through their worldly tarnish on the Pandion, Genidian and Alcione knights. Cyrinic Knights are closest to the ideal, being the most religious and having shiny armour to boot. The manner of their Preceptor Abriel's death — charging a 300+ foot monster — is very Paladin.
  • The Knights of Solomnia are the closest equivalent in Dragonlance and their Dungeons and Dragons tie-ins provide rules that essentially make this character a paladin equivalent (though there are different orders with different emphases in terms up fighting skill, leadership and divine power).
  • The protagonists of Domina are referred to as Paladins, specifically because it seems like it will "sell." Derek is closest in powerset; he's The Hero and a Barrier Warrior.
  • Adventure Hunters: Artorius used to be one of these but he was branded with the Sigil of Disgrace for a mysterious reason. Now he works as a treasure hunter.
  • The Knights Radiant of The Stormlight Archive are powerful Magic Knight warriors who literally get their powers by behaving with various flavors of honor (protecting the helpless, being truthful, etc). The Knights as a whole are a Badass Army, but they're divided into ten separate Orders (explicitly called such in-universe), each with different powers. They disbanded and disappeared thousands of years before the story begins, but those with the power of the Radiants seem to be appearing again, which seems likely to lead to the reformation of the Knights.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Have Gun Will Travel was an American western television series that ran from 1957 to 1963, starring Richard Boone as Paladin, a gentleman gunfighter and West Point educated former army officer who worked as a "fixer" of sorts, settling disputes and solving problems that would normally escalate into unnecessary violence.
  • Alluded to/played within an episode of Bones, where Booth rescues a young boy by gaining his trust with his family code word, which happens to be "Paladin". Booth is sort of a Paladin, only without magic powers.
  • Angel could be said to be this, on Angel, despite his unholy vampire nature. His mission is frequently said to be "helping the helpless."

    Mythology 
  • Of all the Knightly-courts of early Christian Era, perhaps none is more well known than that of King Arthur, and of course of all of his knights, none embodied the ideals of a Paladin quite so perfectly, right down to the stupid part of being Lawful Stupid, as Lancelot Du Lac.
    • Please note, this is in reference to the actual Historical/Mythological figures, and not the figures as popularized on modern television.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The paladin class of Dungeons & Dragons is the Trope Codifier of the standard paladin (and the Trope Namer for its signature attacks, Detect Evil and Smite Evil). As such, D&D has a ton of paladins, paladin variants, and not-quite-paladins.
    • 3e and 3.5 has your standard Knight in Shining Armor paladins as a core class, but sourcebooks eventually added variants such as the Paladin of Freedom (Chaotic Good instead of the Paladin of Justice's Lawful Good), the Greyguard (a paladin Prestige Class that allowed for moments of I Did What I Had to Do by making it much easier to regain one's paladin powers after violating the paladin code of conduct), and the Holy Liberator (Chaotic Good champions of "Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right"). And aside from all these, there's the Sentinel.
    • Pathfinder, as a continuation of the d20 System D&D line, also has the classic paladins. They're a bit beefed-up compared to what they were in 3.5.
    • Paladins in the 4th Edition of Dungeons & Dragons do not follow the Always Lawful Good restriction: instead, Paladins are servants of any god, and they follow the tenets laid forth by that god rather than follow an alignment. Paladins in the Essentials line for 4th Edition choose a Virtue (such as Sacrifice and Valor) and have options within that virtue (though Sacrifice Paladins fit the usual Always Lawful Good bill).
    • Pretty much all additions of Dungeons & Dragons also have an inversion of the paladin trope; some variation of an "anti-paladin", a mirror image of the paladin that replaces "good" with "evil" and "holy" with "unholy". 3e had a Prestige Class called the Blackguard (which could include fallen paladins) as well as the Paladin of Tyranny (Lawful Evil) and the Paladin of Slaughter (Chaotic Evil). Pathfinder went back to using straight anti-paladins, and 4th edition makes the issue moot by allowing your paladin to be dedicated to any extreme alignment.
      • There's Cavaliers (fit the bill for just about anything but tend to Lawful Good), the Blackguard (True Neutral, featured first in Heroes of Shadow) and Gray Guards (Paragon Path, requires training in Insight and Intimidation) in 4th Edition. Besides, Paladins can take things like Power of Death, Power of Winter (from the True Neutral Goddess of Death Raven Queen), Power of Tyranny and Power of Strife (from Asmodeus and Tiamat, both Lawful Evil) and Power of Venoms (Neutral Evil Zehir). Paladins are more of a "Holy Champion of a God, no matter what God", much like the Angels in the Points Of Light setting.
  • The Holy Knight from Urban Arcana is basically what happens when you take a Paladin, give him/her a motorbike, a Forced Entry armor, a Riot Shield, and a shock baton, and remove their need to be Lawful. They do have an Evil Counterpart in the form of the Unholy Knight.
  • Warhammer 40,000
    • Deconstructed with the Grey Knights chapter of Space Marines. They have loads of powers to fight daemons and are completely incorruptible, but are extremely ruthless in their mission. They have a habit of killing innocent witnesses "for their own protection". Given the Grim Dark Crapsack World that 40k is, where a Fate Worse than Death could be in store just for seeing Chaos, they still manage to remain somewhat sympathetic.
    • The Space Marines in general arguably have this flavour if seen sympathetically, with their existence being militaristic and fighting in the most important warzones where needed, and generally their devotion to the cause of the Emperor and the Imperium (and by that extent, humanity in general) is encouraged to border on religious fanaticism (though also generally just off the mark from religion). Played dead straight by the Salamanders chapter, who are especially protective of Imperium citizens whenever the Salamanders see them, have their own chapter-personal cult which extols the values of self-reliance, loyalty and self-sacrifice, and mostly utilize flame weapons and Thunder Hammers — fire and hammers being fairly common iconography of The Paladin.
    • As the military arm of the Ecclesiarchy (the Imperial state church), the Sisters Of Battle also fit this role.
  • In Rifts there are a lot of people that seem like paladins, but the real deal comes from the Wormwood supplement in the form of the Apok, whose literal class description is incorruptibility. They get absolute immunity to all manner of effects, but in classic Rifts style, they look like demon hobos. Also interesting because they are required to have been evil and truly repented, rather than being good from the start.
  • In Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, Bretonnian heroes are called Paladins.
  • Dawn and Zenith caste Solar Exalted tend to put on a lot of the trappings of this trope, such as holy light and golden armour...as for how well they actually embody it, that's a matter of individual choice and the nature of one's Limit Break.
  • The drink based card game DrunkQuest has one as a character class. She likes mead.
  • Paladins in Ironclaw are essentially clerics who apply their class dice to the Melee Combat skill rather than Leadership, and a lot of White Magic uses Leadership in some way, and they start out with a sword that can have spells loaded into it like the staffs that other clerics have.

    Video Games 
  • Final Fantasy
    • The Fighter/Knight class in the original Final Fantasy plays closer to a paladin than a true knight, as once the Fighter class is upgraded to a Knight they have the ability to use low-level White Magic.
    • Cecil in Final Fantasy IV, once he casts off his Dark Knight mantle. Also a Lightning Bruiser barring offensive magic. The DS remake makes him even more of a tank, with the (passive!) ability to draw attacks to him and counter.
    • Beatrix from Final Fantasy IX. Each character in the game represents a class from the previous games and Beatrix, while she is never outright called one, she can use White Magic and the equipment of a paladin. She actually starts out as a villain in the game and a Hopeless Boss Fight, but over the course of the game she begins to have doubts about her queen and eventually joins the heroes' side as an ally.
    • While in Final Fantasy X all the "warriors" (Tidus, Wakka, Auron, Kimarhi) are all capable of going down this route depending on how you use the sphere grid, Tidus is the most oriented to becoming a Paladin. His sphere grid intercepts with Yuna's early on, allowing him to learn healing and holy magic.
    • The Paladin class is used by human units in Final Fantasy Tactics Advance and Final Fantasy Tactics A2. The class has two abilities that dish out Holy damage to enemies, but the rest of the skills involve healing allies of injuries and ailments, protecting them from enemy attacks, and convincing enemies to leave the battle. It is worth noting that the title "Paladin" only seems to describe the general skillset of the class, and not the personality, as there are at least a couple of missions in Final Fantasy Tactics Advance in which you fight a bad guy whose job is Paladin.
    • Played as straight as possible with Optional Party Member Frimelda Lotice in Final Fantasy Tactics A2. Not even dying and being revived as a zombie can stop her from being good.
  • Warcraft paladins are the Trope Codifier for good but not Lawful Good paladins that follow "the Light" instead of a specific deity. They also tend to retain their powers as long as they think they're doing good, which can lead to some unpleasant things. Originally, they were members of The Order of the Silver Hand, until said order got decimated after the fall of Lordaeron. They later served the Argent Crusade, and their respective factions, the Alliance or Horde in general.
    • The Warcraft III paladins were defensive/supportive hero units which supported their allies through healing, and armor-boosting aura, and a mass resurrection ability. They also had the ability to personally become completely invincible for short periods of time and their healing spell could heavily damage enemy undead units and most demons.
    • The World of Warcraft paladin is a melee class with healing and auras, with specs that allow them to be a dedicated shield-bearing guardian type (Protection), a Combat Medic (Holy), or a more light-focused Magic Knight (Retribution). One of the signature abilities of the Paladin class is Divine Shield, which makes the paladin totally immune to all damage for 6 seconds.note  The class is available to humans, dwarves, blood elves, and — as of Cataclysm — any race with hooves and a tail. Since the game's launch, it has played around a lot with the concept of paladins and how they achieve their powers.
      • First there was the Scarlet Crusade, a group of highly racist and paranoid human paladins who thought any non-human race was infected by the undead taint, along with any human who wasn't a member of their ranks. Despite being insane and clearly not doing the Light's work, they maintained their power because they believed they were, as mentioned above.
      • In The Burning Crusade, the Blood Elves developed their own sect of paladins called the Blood Knights. Unlike any of the above-mentioned paladins, the Blood Knights stole their power directly from a powerful light being called a naaru. Their attitude was initially haughty and self-important, taking pride in their ability to bend the light to their will, with some Blood Knights even saying they are 'true' paladins compared to the Alliance paladins. However, the Blood Knights eventually had the source of their power taken away from them, and they turned to the naruu of Shattrath for help. They pledged themselves to help the naruu during the assault on the Sunwell, and after it was re-invigorated by the holy energies of the very same naruu they had originally captured, they started drawing their power from the Sunwell itself. It has been implied they are since heading down a path of light worship much more akin to traditional Alliance paladins.
      • In Cataclysm, taurens began their own sect of paladins called Sunwalkers, who draw their power from the sun god An'she, in the same way the night elves draw power from the moon goddess Elune. Despite being granted similar powers to paladins, however, it's implied the source of their power isn't drawn from the Light in the same way it is for other paladins. Rather, they embody the power of the sun and represent a kind of exemplar of their people, much like how human paladins embody the power of the Light are exemplars of their own.
  • Diablo II has the Paladin as one of the selectable classes. He left the Corrupt Church of Zakarum and seeks to destroy the demons responsible for its corruption.
    • The Templars of the Templar order from Diablo III also qualify as paladins, but they take a more Knight Templar-ish stance because of their brainwashing by the order. Kormac, the Templar who accompanies you, is quite fervent about protecting the innocent, but he's not forgiving of betrayers of the order and even less forgiving about betrayal by the order itself.
    • As do the Crusaders of the Reaper of Souls expansion, who are seeking to purify and restore the Zakarum faith to its former glory.
  • The Paladins of Battle for Wesnoth are Warrior Monk types who, like the White Mages of the setting, serve the philosophy of good itself, with no religious connotations. They start out as regular Horsemen who later level-up to Knights, and can then choose to either maximize their combat power by becoming Grand Knights or to acquire basic healing skills and Smite Evil abilities to become Paladins. While they are not as strong in melee as the Grand Knights, and not as good healers as White Mages, they are fast, can still very hard with their lance charges, and have 'arcane' anti-magic damage and resistances that make them very good at fighting the undead.
  • The Paladin tank of Command & Conquer: Generals has the personality (no surprise considering that the USA faction is Lawful Good in this game) and has the ability to tank missile shots with a defensive laser.
  • The Paladin class in Dragon Quest IX plays like a typical paladin would: high defense, healing magic, and abilities that focus on protecting the innocent. Fully upgrade a Paladin and get their shield level to 40, and you have an unstoppable attack-blocking machine.
  • BioWare's Dungeons & Dragons games usually have some paladins in them.
    • Baldur's Gate: You can take Ajantis into your party, but given the games limited NPC interactions, he doesn't have anything to say.
    • Baldur's Gate II: There's Keldorn and the Order of the Radiant Heart. There are also a group of fallen paladins who got kicked out of the order and are now common criminals. Meanwhile, Mazzy Fentan can't be a paladin because the second edition rules didn't allow it for halflings yet... but she's a Lawful Good, knightly servant of her deity who gives her special powers, so basically it's just a matter of terminology and minor differences in special abilities, and of her being bothered that she's not official.
    • Lunar: Eternal Blue: Leo, who's basically a cop. Once he joins your party, he proves himself to be an irregular paladin due to his propensity for Earth-based magic.
    • Neverwinter Nights: Aribeth is one of the major NPCs in the game. And becomes an Anti-Paladin halfway through the story.
    • Neverwinter Nights 2 (though actually developed by Obsidian): Casavir stands out from most paladins by placing a much higher emphasis on Good instead of Order. When his superiors and fellow knights were unwilling to take action, he left and became the leader of a guerrilla vigilante band that fights marauding orcs.
    • Knights of the Old Republic: Being a Star Wars game, it has a lot of Jedi, which are pretty much Space Paladins. And like in Neverwinter Nights, poster girl Jedi Bastila will fall to the Dark Side, but can be saved.
      • The trend is continued with the Jedi Knight class in Star Wars: The Old Republic. The other Jedi class is more like a priest with magic powers than a Paladin.
  • Dragon Age has the Grey Wardens, who are very paladin-like in flavor, but mostly in the backstory. Wardens aren't locked into any given mechanical build or into any moral alignment, as long as they are willing to fight the darkspawn. It's impossible to be cast down, though: once you're a Warden, you're in it for life.
    • More fitting the classic Paladin role are the Templars, who hunt down demons and errant, usually evil, mages and are associated to the Chantry. However, Templars are rather un-paladin-y in that they're sadly prone to becoming Knight Templars and running into Light Is Not Good, and often invoke Good Is Not Nice due to the game's Crapsack World.
    • Alistair, being both a Grey Warden and an ex-Templar with tank combat abilities, anti-magic, and (eventually) Smite Evil, is the game's best example of the trope; he manages to combine Light, Good, and (mostly) Nice, though he's certainly willing to Shoot the Dog if you harden his heart during his personal sub-quest
  • Flynn in Tales of Vesperia (especially the PS3 version) is the first true paladin style character in the series.
  • The Civilization IV mod Fall from Heaven has paladins. The player must be good to use them. Given the Crap Sack World the game is, Good Is Not Nice.
  • In Ground Control, Paladin is a title given to any Order of the New Dawn general who is permitted to act with autonomy. The Paladin Magnus is one, and despite not having any divine personal powers, he does have an arsenal of Order troops, aerodynes and hoverdynes at his disposal, and has the personality of a paladin, always choosing the 'good' option over the lawful.
  • The Brotherhood of Steel in Fallout has a rank called Paladin. Depending upon whether you're talking about the West Coast Brotherhood, the Midwestern Brotherhood or the Eastern Brotherhood, a paladin may or may not act out this trope.
  • Mickey Mouse in Kingdom Hearts has every aspect of this trope but the title.
  • Mardek has Vehrn, a Paladin of YALORTnote . He is devastating against the undead, but is insufferable if you allow him to get on the subject of Yalortism.
  • The Paladins in Quest for Glory differ from the standard version trope in that they are openly Neutral Good from the start; the Paladin mentor Rakeesh defied the rule of law in his homeland because he thought it was narrow-minded and would only cause a needless war. The Paladin class is unlocked at the end of Quest for Glory II if you finish the game with high enough Honor, and is effectively a Fighter with nice bonuses like Healing Hands, protection from evil, and a danger sense, plus some optional quests that go above and beyond the main plot. In Quest for Glory III he becomes an outright Magic Knight, when unlocking the Heal ability adds the Magic skill.
  • Artix Von Krieger from AdventureQuest, Dragon Fable and other games of the same company subverts the concept. He has a compulsive need to smite any undead creatures he comes across, and AdventureQuest Worlds reveals that Artix is the Champion of Darkness, and as such cannot use the light-based magic of a Paladin. Instead, he was trained in the ways of the Undead Slayer, whose power and purpose is to free the souls of those enslaved by undeath. Paladin is also an available class in pretty much any Artix Entertainment fantasy game, though at least one version is member only.
  • In Rift, paladin is a warrior "defensive soul" with some White Magic abilities. While Amardis Mathos (the original in-universe paladin) certainly fit the usual profile, it's implied that not every paladin does.
  • The Paladin class of the Fire Emblem series is, for the most part, this In Name Only; it has nothing to do with holy warriors and cannot use any sort of magic beyond that afforded by magic weapons. Members of the class (allied ones, anyway) are generally upstanding, moral, and loyal knights, but are not holy by any means. The exception is the Jugdral canon, wherein the female variant of Paladins can wield healing staves.
    • While not explicitly spelled out as one, however, "Marth" from Fire Emblem Awakening fits the trope rather well on inspection. Parallel Falchion can even be used to heal.
  • Paladins in Age of Empires II are merely upgraded Heavy Cavalry, the next step up after Knights and Cavaliers.
  • There is a Paladin class in the Ultima series (at least until the later games where it gets merged into Fighter), which is the class associated with the virtue of Honor. But the Avatar himself also fits most of the criteria for the Paladin trope, and is the page image. Though in the context of the game it's from, the image is actually a Kick the Dog moment for the Avatar.
  • The Ogre Battle series of games commonly have Paladins as a class. Then tend to be among the strongest Melee fighters, with minor healing magic.
  • Dragon Nest has The Paladin role filled by... the Paladin class. Although he's more of a white mage tank than a white mage DP Ser.
  • In Majesty, Paladins become available if you build a Temple to Dauros, God of law and justice. They're Always Female, strong against undead and have some defensive magic.
  • It is perfectly possible to play a Paladin in The Elder Scrolls, though the franchise's open-ended levelling system makes it purely a player choice rather than an official class. Specific parts of different games either encourage or cater to that playstyle, however.
    • The Knights of the Nine expansion to The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion is all about being a paladin, complete with recreating a lost order of knights dedicated to the Divines, and including the Relics of the Crusader, an equipment set that significantly buffs paladin-style skills (defense, healing, and melee combat) and cannot be used if the player has two or more infamy points.
    • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, especially if you have the Dawnguard DLC expansion, which pits a group of these paladins against a deadly coven of vampires. Champions of Meridia, one of the only nonevil Daedric Princes, also tend toward a paladin outlook — Meridia's quest will give you the unique weapon "Dawnbreaker", which lights undead on fire and has a chance to cause a short-range explosion that sets other Undead on fire, which gives paladin-y players a useful Smite Evil type weapon.
  • "The Order" in Devil May Cry 4. 'tis a shame that their commanding officers are all either trying to take over the world to vanquish all the demons, or humans-turned-demons themselves.
  • The Protector class from Etrian Odyssey series (actually called Paladins in the Japanese version). They can equip the heaviest armor and most of their abilities revolve around protecting the rest of their party from harm. Their offensive power is decent at best compared to other classes, being bolstered by a Shield Bash skill, and they possess some basic healing abilities.
    • The Fortress class from the fourth game is similar to the Protector, with more offensive versatility.
  • Guild Wars 2 introduced into the Guild Wars universe the class known as the Guardian, which is the spiritual successor to the Paragon and the Monk and which has elements of the Ritualist as it is a White Magic Wielding Warrior who can if using the appropriate abilities, summon spiritual weapons to do his bidding. Unlike many Paladins however he does not draw his powers from the divine, as the NayTheist Charr can use the class.
  • In Mass Effect, the asari have a rough equivalent to the paladin in the form of Justicars. They are Warrior Monk asari who devote their entire lives to living by an unbending - but Crazy-Prepared - code of honor that demands they behave like paladins: protecting the innocent and striking down the unjust. The code is also very ruthless: for example, offering her a bribe obligates the Justicar to kill the one trying to bribe her. Opposing a Justicar or obstructing her from completing her task are also grounds for her to respond with violence. The Justicars are also unique in that they stick heavily to asari-controlled space, because asari culture and norms are heavily weighted in their favor; no asari ever questions a Justicar-sanctioned killing, because in their culture, Justicars are above reproach. The harshness of their life and the unbending nature of their code tends to root out anyone within their order who would abuse their power.
  • Dupre the paladin is one of the Avatar's companions in the Ultima series. He makes the Heroic Sacrifice to restore the Chaos Serpent in Ultima VII Part II: Serpent Isle, but is brought back to life in Ultima IX.
  • Some of the Might and Magic games have a Paladin class. VII is a bit interesting in that the sign of being a proper Paladin as this trope defines it is not being called a Paladin — the Paladin class (and its first promotion, the Crusader class) is morally undefined, and is simply a merging of Knight and Cleric. It is only at the final promotion that the class is defined as dedicated to good (or, if you aligned with the Dark, evil), when you become a Hero (or, for the anti-Paladin, Villain).
  • The Golden Paladin that leads the Brotherhood against Dracula in the Action Prologue of Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2. He's a badass holy warrior who wears winged golden armor that gives him an angelic appearance. It's too bad that Gabriel is still God's chosen champion, so the Paladin's holy powers are useless against him.

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    Real Life 
  • The Trope Namer is, of course, the actual Paladins: the "Twelve Peers", the foremost Christian warriors of the court of Charlemagne. They were first described in The Song of Roland, and the eponymous Roland was said to have eventually become the leader of the Paladins. What they actually did, and what was merely propaganda and hearsay, is a little less clear.
  • The word "Paladin" comes from the Paladine Hill in Rome, which in ancient times was where the high government officials had their offices. Being a Paladine was about official authority, not about skill as a warrior or devotion to righteousness. The Twelve Peers were originally dubbed Paladins because they were high officials in Charlemagne's court.


Order Versus ChaosKnight In Shining TropesThe Paragon
Monster KnightSir Index of TropesSelf Proclaimed Knight
Ultima VIImageSource/Video GamesUmihara Kawase
Old SoldierArchetypal CharacterThe Patriarch
One-Winged AngelPower at a PricePower Born of Madness

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