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** In ''Literature/DarkLordTheRiseOfDarthVader'', Roan Shryne and Darth Vader come to see each other as this. On Vader's side, this seems to be because Shryne reminds him of the Jedi he used to be, and [[spoiler:he considers killing Shryne to have brought him closer to the dark side]]. When they finally duel, they are evenly matched in swordsmanship, and [[spoiler:Vader only wins by withdrawing and using {{telekinesis}} to throw a storm of planks and splinters at Shryne]].

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** In ''Literature/DarkLordTheRiseOfDarthVader'', Roan Shryne and Darth Vader come to see each other as this. On Vader's side, this seems to be because Shryne reminds him of the Jedi he used to be, and [[spoiler:he considers killing Shryne to have brought him closer to the dark side]]. When they finally duel, they are evenly matched in swordsmanship, and [[spoiler:Vader only wins by withdrawing and using {{telekinesis}} [[MindOverMatter telekinesis]] to throw a storm of planks and splinters at Shryne]].


* Creator/IsaacAsimov's ''Foundation'' has at least three Worthy Opponents. Two are individuals: Bel Riose, general for the doomed Empire, and the magnificent Mule. Both fight honorably, respect their opponent (the Foundation itself, rather than any one individual), and are honestly trying to do their best to improve conditions for everyone in the Galaxy. The third is the Second Foundation. The two Foundations are both mirrors and inversions for each other. They function as allies and rivals, and the relationship changes a great deal over the course of several books.

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* In John French’s ''TabletopGame/Warhammer40000 Literature/ThousandSons'' trilogy, Ahriman gains a grudging respect and admiration for Inquisitor Iobel after she, a mere human with much less psychic power than him, inflicts significant damage to his [[MentalWorld memory palace]] during their BattleInTheCenterOfTheMind. The respect is not mutual on her part.


* The marlin that nearly kills Santiago in ''Literature/TheOldManAndTheSea'' is strongly portrayed this way.

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* The marlin that nearly kills Santiago in ''Literature/TheOldManAndTheSea'' is strongly portrayed this way. At one point, Santiago says to the marlin: "Fish, I love you and respect you very much. But I will kill you dead before this day ends."


* In Creator/BernardNewman's SecondWorldWar thriller ''Literature/MaginotLineMurder'' the idiosyncratic French detective PapaPontivy and his British partner (the writer's namesake) are confronted with a mutilated corpse found in a fortress of the MaginotLine in the tense time of July 1939, just prior to the outbreak of war. With virtually no shred of proof, Pontivy follows his hunch - that a French officer with a seemingly impeccable record is in fact a German spy, who had committed the murder in order to protect his secret. Gradually Pontivy and Newman do find pieces of evidence pointing to a highly resourceful spy, whose true name was Schmidt, who originally enlisted in the FrenchForeignLegion, took the identity of a French officer killed while on colonial duty in Morocco, came to Metropolitan France and gained an appointment to the sensitive Maginot Line - there to start a major espionage and sabotage network. The more Pontivy and Newman discover of him, the greater their respect and indeed admiration for a man who was able to carry out to perfection such an elaborate masquerade over years upon years, alone among his country's enemies. This is reflected in the dialogue when they finally come to arrest him. "What can I say? You won, Monsieur Pontivy. Take me, I have to pay for my failure. But don't hold me in contempt. All that I did, I did for my country". "I don't contempt you, I admire your courage. That is why I came to arrest you in person. (...) I am not too happy about this business. You are too good for the guillotine. You have served your country with great courage, it is not your fault that you failed. I can't regard you as a common murderer." - "Thank you". -" I have here your pistol, with a single bullet in the chamber. If you want, we can go out and leave you alone in this room". - "I am not afraid, but it is sad to die alone. I don't suppose you would want to shake the hand of a German spy?" - "I would not shake the hand of a German spy, but gladly would I shake the hand of a brave man!" Pontivy and Newman shake the doomed man's hand and leave. When the fatal shot rings out, the tough Pontivy wipes a tear, muttering "There goes a man! I wish we could have let him escape...". Adding to the story's poignant end is the fact that a few months after it was published in London, Germany launched its great armored offensive, effortlessly bypassing the supposedly impregnable Maginot Line and occupying France. Thus, the present-day reader knows that but for Pontivy's gallant gesture, the spy Schmidt would have spent a few months in a French prison and then been liberated by his country's army in June 1940.

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* In Creator/BernardNewman's SecondWorldWar UsefulNotes/SecondWorldWar thriller ''Literature/MaginotLineMurder'' the idiosyncratic French detective PapaPontivy and his British partner (the writer's namesake) are confronted with a mutilated corpse found in a fortress of the MaginotLine in the tense time of July 1939, just prior to the outbreak of war. With virtually no shred of proof, Pontivy follows his hunch - that a French officer with a seemingly impeccable record is in fact a German spy, who had committed the murder in order to protect his secret. Gradually Pontivy and Newman do find pieces of evidence pointing to a highly resourceful spy, whose true name was Schmidt, who originally enlisted in the FrenchForeignLegion, took the identity of a French officer killed while on colonial duty in Morocco, came to Metropolitan France and gained an appointment to the sensitive Maginot Line - there to start a major espionage and sabotage network. The more Pontivy and Newman discover of him, the greater their respect and indeed admiration for a man who was able to carry out to perfection such an elaborate masquerade over years upon years, alone among his country's enemies. This is reflected in the dialogue when they finally come to arrest him. "What can I say? You won, Monsieur Pontivy. Take me, I have to pay for my failure. But don't hold me in contempt. All that I did, I did for my country". "I don't contempt you, I admire your courage. That is why I came to arrest you in person. (...) I am not too happy about this business. You are too good for the guillotine. You have served your country with great courage, it is not your fault that you failed. I can't regard you as a common murderer." - "Thank you". -" I have here your pistol, with a single bullet in the chamber. If you want, we can go out and leave you alone in this room". - "I am not afraid, but it is sad to die alone. I don't suppose you would want to shake the hand of a German spy?" - "I would not shake the hand of a German spy, but gladly would I shake the hand of a brave man!" Pontivy and Newman shake the doomed man's hand and leave. When the fatal shot rings out, the tough Pontivy wipes a tear, muttering "There goes a man! I wish we could have let him escape...". Adding to the story's poignant end is the fact that a few months after it was published in London, Germany launched its great armored offensive, effortlessly bypassing the supposedly impregnable Maginot Line and occupying France. Thus, the present-day reader knows that but for Pontivy's gallant gesture, the spy Schmidt would have spent a few months in a French prison and then been liberated by his country's army in June 1940.


* In his poem [[http://www.poetryloverspage.com/poets/kipling/american_rebellion.html "The American Rebellion"]] Creator/RudyardKipling wrote of Washington and King Georege's soldiers: "Each for his land, in a fair fight,/Encountered, strove, and died,/And the kindly earth that knows no spite/Covers them side by side."

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* In his poem [[http://www.poetryloverspage.com/poets/kipling/american_rebellion.html "The American Rebellion"]] Creator/RudyardKipling wrote of Washington and King Georege's George's soldiers: "Each for his land, in a fair fight,/Encountered, strove, and died,/And the kindly earth that knows no spite/Covers them side by side."

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** Played with using differing perspectives with the duel between Jaime Lannister and Brienne of Tarth. The first time, it's from the perspective of Jaime, who notes her strength is comparable only to other people he's fought known for their physical power, that she seems utterly tireless, and she's no slouch skillwise, either. In a later book, in a chapter from Brienne's perpsective, she remembers how Jaime was ridiculously skilled with a sword, despite being starved, not having practiced in a year, and with his hands manacled.

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* [[Literature/ClockpunkAndTheVitalizer The Vitalizer]] views Clockpunk as one in the end, thanks to her wit and [[spoiler:success in outsmarting/escaping him in her time of captivity]]. She's flattered by his respect.


* Irene Adler to ''Literature/SherlockHolmes''.

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* ''Literature/SherlockHolmes'':
** Holmes considers
Irene Adler from "A Scandal in Bohemia" to ''Literature/SherlockHolmes''. be this.
** Professor Moriarty is another example. At their fateful last encounter, Moriarty lets Holmes write a farewell letter to Watson before starting their fight to the death, and Holmes knows he can trust Moriarty to wait patiently until the letter is finished and not to push him into the nearby falls while his attention is on the paper.
** John Clay in ''The Red-Headed League'' is so hard to catch that he and Holmes never see each other until the story. This trope kicks in near the end-Clay outright praises Holmes for his arrangements and quick thinking, while Holmes compliments Clay for his excellent scheme and how close it came to succeeding. Furthermore, although Clay is outright rude to Inspector Jones, he bows to Holmes and Watson as he heads off to jail.



** Also, Sherlock Holmes and Professor Moriarty: at their fateful last encounter, gentleman Moriarty lets Holmes write a farewell letter to Watson before starting their fight to the death, and Holmes knows he can trust Moriarty to wait patiently until the letter is finished and not to push him into the nearby falls while his attention is on the paper.
** We have John Clay in ''The Red-Headed League'', who is so hard to catch that he and Holmes never see each other until the story. This trope kicks in near the end-Clay outright praises Holmes for his arrangements and quick thinking, while Holmes compliments Clay for his excellent scheme and how close it came to succeeding. Furthermore, although Clay is outright rude to Inspector Jones, he bows to Holmes and Watson as he heads off to jail.

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* ''Literature/TheDivineComedy'':
** Saladin, the Muslim opponent of Richard the Lionhearted during UsefulNotes/TheCrusades, is in the circle with virtuous pagans rather than further down among heretics, probably because of this trope.
** Farinata degli Uberti (Inferno canto X) counts too. He was a Florentine past political leader, and one of the most prominent members of the Ghibellini (the faction which sided with the Emperor as opposed to the Guelfi, which sided with the pope) and he and Dante's ancestors were enemies. From their meeting in hell, it is clear that Dante admires the man, even as he acknowledges their rivalry and differing viewpoints.

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* Denman Malkuth of ''Literature/DanceoftheButterfly'' views Skothiam Felcraft this way, especially considering how he defers to him in the climactic battle of the last chapter.


** Supervillains are careful to cultivate this reputation with superheroes. That way, when they inevitably retire, they'll be treated well instead of hunted down in revenge. Villains who get too violent (especially against children) find themselves fighting Mourning Dove, [[TheCoronerDothProtestTooMuch who is notoriously bad at bringing in opponents alive]].

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** Supervillains are careful to cultivate this reputation with superheroes. That way, when they inevitably retire, they'll be treated well instead of hunted down in revenge. Villains who get too violent (especially against children) find themselves fighting Mourning Dove, [[TheCoronerDothProtestTooMuch who is notoriously bad at bringing in opponents alive]]. In the third book the recently-retired supervillain Bull has such a sterling reputation he's asked to ''chaperone a school club'' for superpowered teenagers.


* Lancer and Saber in ''LightNovel/FateZero''. Neither one is really a bad ''or'' good guy, they just happen to be on opposite sides pursuing the same goal. And their Masters are both a lot less noble.
** Another example would be Rider and Archer. While Rider is generally affable and respectful against everyone (including the aforementioned Lancer and Saber) unless they show themselves as despicable, Archer is an incredible elitist who considers Rider one of the only beings in the world worth actually respecting. They consider each other worthy opponents to the point that before their final clash, they stop to finish their wine and have one last conversation before each casually walks to the starting positions of the duel.

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* ''LightNovel/FateZero'':
**
Lancer and Saber in ''LightNovel/FateZero''.Saber. Neither one is really a bad ''or'' good guy, they just happen to be on opposite sides pursuing the same goal. And their Masters are both a lot less noble.
** Another example would be Rider and Archer. While Rider is generally affable and respectful against everyone (including the aforementioned Lancer and Saber) unless they show themselves as despicable, Archer is an incredible elitist who considers Rider one of the only beings in the world worth actually respecting. They consider each other worthy opponents to the point that before their final clash, they stop to finish their wine and have one last conversation before each casually walks to the starting positions of the duel. However, Archer does note that while he respects Rider, he ''does not'' consider him an equal, saying that only one man has he ever considered as such, and never again. Those familiar with [[Literature/TheEpicOfGilgamesh Archer's identity and legend]] will know exactly who he's referring to.

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* ''Literature/TheAngloAmericanNaziWar'': When the Allies invade Nazi-occupied Europe, American, British and Indian soldiers alike quickly learn to respect the "old bastards", the Heer troops pressed back into service to help defend the Reich. Despite being in their fourties and fifties by 1958 and armed with outdated weapons, their extensive combat experience and methodical approach to battle means that they fight quite impressively and even sometimes manage to get one over on the Allies. The same cannot be said for the Waffen SS (who are better equipped but [[TheBerserker fight like fanatics without regard for tactics or their safety]], making them easy to defeat) and the [[ChildSoldiers Hitler Youth]] (who are [[NightmareFuel terrifying]] and [[TearJerker plain tragic]] in equal measure).


* RudyardKipling's ''The Ballad of East and West'' is a prolonged exploration of this trope, culminating in the purportedly villainous character being so impressed with his enemy that he sends his own son to serve as the hero's bodyguard.

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* RudyardKipling's Creator/RudyardKipling's ''The Ballad of East and West'' is a prolonged exploration of this trope, culminating in the purportedly villainous character being so impressed with his enemy that he sends his own son to serve as the hero's bodyguard.



* In his poem [[http://www.poetryloverspage.com/poets/kipling/american_rebellion.html "The American Rebellion"]] RudyardKipling wrote of Washington and King Georege's soldiers: "Each for his land, in a fair fight,/Encountered, strove, and died,/And the kindly earth that knows no spite/Covers them side by side."

to:

* In his poem [[http://www.poetryloverspage.com/poets/kipling/american_rebellion.html "The American Rebellion"]] RudyardKipling Creator/RudyardKipling wrote of Washington and King Georege's soldiers: "Each for his land, in a fair fight,/Encountered, strove, and died,/And the kindly earth that knows no spite/Covers them side by side."

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