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The Squire
The squire is a knight's loyal servant, carrying out all his needs, including shining his armor, sharpening his sword, taking care of his horse, carrying his banner, and many other duties. The squire is often a the son of a lord or another knight, who has been sent to learn to be a knight himself. This servitude lasts years as the squire learns all he can from the knight and ends with the squire being knighted.

Sometimes the squire will be far braver or a better fighter than the knight he is serving and ends up saving their life. They can also be treacherous, selling out their lord in exchange for wealth or an earlier knighthood from a rival. The squire could also be suffering under an incompetent or evil knight and may be looking for a change, or they might be just as incompetent or evil as their master.

Compare with Knight, Knave and Squire, in which the squire is part of a trio. Related to The Apprentice.

Note: In England from the late 17th century to the early 20th century, squire was also a title given to the leader of a village or the lord of a the largest manor in the village. They were sometimes referred to as "the squire" of the village. This trope concerns itself only with squires who are in training to become knights.


Examples

Animated Films
  • In The Sword in the Stone Wart spends time as Sir Kay's squire before pulling the sword from the stone. In fact, Squire is the highest rank Wart can attain since as far as anyone knows he is not of knight-class birth.

Comic Books
  • The third Black Knight from the Marvel Universe, Dane Whitman, ends up having two different squires:
    • In The Avengers it's Sean Dolan, a young Irish orphan he saves from falling off a cliff. He spends time training the young man in swordsmanship, but the entire thing goes south when Sean draws the Ebony Blade to defend Whitman's family castle and is transformed by the sword's curse into the evil supervillain Bloodwraith.
    • In Captain Britain and MI13 he ends up meeting Faiza Hussain, a civilian doctor that he saves from a Skrull attack on the UK. She eventually gains healing powers and the right to wield Excalibur and becomes a superhero in her own right, but is still content to call herself his squire (and girlfriend).

Film
  • Padawans and Sith apprentices in Star Wars are essentially squires under a different name, training to become Jedi Knights and Sith Lords
  • The Knights of the Round Table in Monty Python and the Holy Grail have squires, whose duties include banging coconuts together to simulate the clopping of horses hooves and taking messages via arrows to the chest.

Literature
  • Don Quixote has Sancho Panza, whom he ropes into being his squire via promises of receiving some of Quixote's lands and wealth, and by convincing the simple Panza that his delusions are real.
  • In A Song of Ice and Fire, squires are all over the place, serving both lords and knights. They are often extremely young, with some of the youngest being around 10 years old, although there are some older ones as well. Some knights have more than one squire as well, due to their high status.
    • Podrick Payne, Tyrion Lannister's squire, is one of the more notable ones, having Undying Loyalty to his lord and being a Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass, saving Tyrion's life from Ser Mandon Moore of the Kingsguard during the Battle of Blackwater Bay.
    • Lancel and Tyrek Lannister are squires for King Robert Baratheon. Different people take note of their usefulness as spies for this reason — Lancel becomes an informant for Cersei and it's implied that Tyrek may have been one for Varys either before or after his disappearance. Lancel is a hilariously incompetent Butt Monkey until he helps kill Robert at the behest of his cousin Queen Cersei, for which he is knighted.
    • Jaime Lannister made a name for himself while still just a squire, winning his first tournament at 13 and being knighted at 15.
    • Before the start of the novels, Ser Loras Tyrell had served as Lord Renly Baratheon's squire.
    • Josmyn Peckledon is one of Jamie's squires, and makes a name for himself at the Battle of Blackwater by killing two knights, wounding another, and capturing two more.
    • Jaime has two other squires as well due to his position as Lord Commander of the Kingsguard: Lewys Piper becomes his squire after most of the Riverlords submit to the Lannisters. Hoster Blackwood becomes a squire/hostage to Jamie after House Blackwood surrenders to the Lannisters.
    • Devan Seaworth and Bryen Farring are squires to Stannis Baratheon. Bryen dies during Stannis' march to Winterfell due to the cold, while Devan is left behind at the Wall to serve Melisandre.
    • Olyvar Frey becomes Robb Stark's squire after he becomes arranged to marry one of Lord Walder Frey's daughters/granddaughters. Even after Robb breaks the marriage pact, Olyvar wants to stay with Robb, but is forced to leave by his relatives.
    • Rollam Westerling replaces Olyvar as Robb's squire after Robb marries Rollam's older sister Jeyne.
    • Ser Barristan Selmy begins training a couple dozen squires in Meereen, all of whom used to be slaves in the city that were freed when Daenerys took the city. He ends up knighting a couple near the end of A Dance with Dragons.
  • In the Tortall Universe, candidates for knighthood serve as squires for four years before their final testing. Two books in particular feature their respective protagonists serving as squires: In the Hand of the Goddess, the second book of Song of the Lioness, and Squire, the third book of Protector of the Small.
  • Kurik is Sparhawk's squire in The Elenium. In that setting, it's an archaic position, so he's the only character with that particular title. Because he has a working class background and has held a lot of jobs, he has a practical and worldly approach to mundane problems, which most of the knights can't match. He's also stated to be as good a fighter as any of them, but has never been knighted because of his class prejudices.
  • In the Deryni novels by Katherine Kurtz, squires are prevalent, and all nobly-born candidates for knighthood serve in this capacity. Prince Nigel Haldane oversees the training of pages and squires in the royal household, including his own sons and the Torenthi prince Liam-Lajos Furstán. Liam actually asks to maintain his squire's status until he returns to Torenth in King Kelson's Bride.
  • Paul Harding's short story, "The Confession of Brother Athelstan" centers on a knight's death at a tournament joust that proves suspicious. Among those under suspicion are the two knights' squires, one who wants to be a priest and the other has a gambling problem.
  • In the Brother Cadfael novel The Leper of Saint Giles some of the main characters are squires, who eventually must investigate their master's murder.

Tabletop Games
  • Dungeons & Dragons 1st Edition supplement Unearthed Arcana. Characters in the Cavalier subclass started off at level 0 and -1500 Experience Points and acted as a retainer (squire) of another Cavalier of 4th level or higher. After the new cavalier earned enough Experience Points to reach 4th level they would become a full fledged cavalier and could acquire retainers of their own.
  • In Chaosium's Pendragon boys could become squires to a knight. They would serve the knight and learn how to be knights, and if they were good enough they could earn knighthood.

Video Games
  • Squires are mentioned a few times in Dragon Age:
    • King Calenhad Theirin, the founder of Fereldan, was only a squire when he won his first battle and the lords began swearing to serve him.
    • Nathaniel Howe served for eight years as a squire in the Free Marches, and was thus not in Fereldan during the events of Dragon Age: Origins.
  • In Help The Hero you play as Percy, a beleaguered Hypercompetent Sidekick squire to the idiot hero, who only wins battles because Percy carefully manages his equipment for him.

Web Comics
  • Elan from The Order of the Stick is shown working as a squire to a paladin, Sir Francois, in prequel On The Origin of PCs. Francois, however, ditches Elan when Elan's incompetence leads to them getting robbed while they sleep at an inn.

Western Animation


The Paragon Always RebelsIndex of Pupils and ProtégésSuperior Successor
Spare To The ThroneRoyalty and Nobility TropesSuccession Crisis
The SpymasterCharacters as DeviceSquishy Wizard
Sir Verb-A-LotSir Index of TropesThe Teutonic Knights

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