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Matt Murdock / Daredevil

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"I'm not seeking penance for what I've done, Father. I'm seeking forgiveness for what I'm about to do."
Click here to see the homemade costume (season 1) 
Click here to see the red costume (season 1 finale, season 2, and The Defenders
Click here to see the second black costume (season 3) 
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Birth Name: Matthew Michael Murdock

Species: Enhanced human

Citizenship: American

Portrayed By: Charlie Cox, Skylar Gaertner (young)

Voiced By: Sebastián Plaza and Óscar Olivares, Consuelo Pizarro (young) (Latin-America Chilean Spanish dub); Manuel Gimeno, Marta Ullod (young) (European Spanish dub)

Appearances: Daredevil | The Defenders

"I can't see, not like everyone else, but I can feel. Things like balance and direction. Micro-changes in air density, vibrations, blankets of temperature variations. Mix all that with what I hear, subtle smells. All of the fragments form a sort of impressionistic painting... A world on fire."

A lawyer from Hell's Kitchen who saved an old man from being hit by a truck as a child. Matt was exposed to dangerous chemicals the truck was carrying and lost his sight as a result. However, the chemicals also greatly enhanced his other senses. These abilities made him a Living Lie Detector in addition to giving him remarkable spatial awareness. Matt became an extremely versatile gymnast and martial artist as well, and decided to take the law into his own hands when the traditional justice system failed.

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    # - F 
  • 10-Minute Retirement: At the start of The Defenders, he hasn't done anything Daredevil-related since telling Karen his secret, out of guilt over Elektra's death and also over losing Nelson & Murdock. While getting ready for a court appearance, he briefly pauses mid-rehearsal when he hears a fight breaking out, but relaxes when he hears the police arriving to defuse the situation and resumes his rehearsing. After the earthquake, the amount of cries for help overwhelms him and he can't resist running to stop some looters and a store owner trying to shoot them with a shotgun.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: He's redheaded, as in the comics, but his hair is a much darker shade, often looking brunette, but when he's in the right light, the red color is much more obvious.
  • Adaptation Relationship Overhaul: As this is a television series set in the more condensed and realistic version of the MCU based in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Matt's relationships were bound to change to a degree from the comicbook source material.
    • Matt and his mentor Stick have a more antagonistic relationship than the comics. It's not helped by the fact that the Netflix version of Stick is an Unscrupulous Hero, Knight In Sour Armor, Grumpy Old Man. While they did have friction in the comics, it was nowhere near as bad as Stick was more of a Pragmatic Hero, with noble goals, and only saw killing as a last resort. He was also a bit more compassionate towards Matt and had more Jerk with a Heart of Gold moments than the Netflix version.
    • While Matt and Frank Castle are still at odds philosophically, they have a much better relationship than in the comic books. In the comics, Matt and Frank pretty much hate each other and feel at best only grudging admiration for one another's abilities and determination. Here Matt and Frank have a relationship that is more like Friendly Enemies and the two of them come to understand if not condone the other's point of view.
  • Alliterative Name: Matthew Murdock. Doubly alliterative: His alias is Daredevil. Bonus points for being played by Charlie Cox.
  • Alternate Company Equivalent: Serves as the MCU equivalent to both Batman (both being crusading vigilantes with traumatic childhoods, secret identities, and make use of Terror Hero tactics to use fear as a weapon) as well as to the Arrow version of Oliver Queen (helped a lot by the shows being similar in tone and style). In particular, his costume, at least in style, is not dissimilar to Christian Bale's Batman costume.
  • Anti-Hero: Matt is a morally ambiguous hero from the get-go, described as being "one bad day away from permanently crossing a line". The very first scene with Daredevil has him brutally beating his enemies, yelling at the victims to run, and then finally turning to the last guy and continuously punching him in the face. Matt is still officially opposed to killing, and even comes to blows with his old master Stick over it. He also suffers a moral breakdown over whether or not to kill Fisk for all the death the crime lord has caused.
  • Arch-Enemy: Much like in the comics, he and Wilson Fisk eventually become this to each other. It starts out fairly one-sided, with Matt targeting Fisk while Fisk is busy dealing with other things, but by the time he and Fisk have their rematch in the finale the feeling is wholly mutual.
  • Badass Baritone: Cox puts on a very deep voice while playing Matt in both his civilian and superhero identity.
  • Badass Boast: Matt delivers one in his civilian identity, to Fisk in prison during "Seven Minutes in Heaven".
    Matt: You see, unlike your other adversaries, Mr. Fisk, I can break you without breaking a single law.
  • Badass Bookworm: He graduated summa cum laude from Columbia Law. Triple bonus points for doing so while blind. It's worth noting that none of his "superhero" skills: enhanced senses, martial arts, or lie detection, help in any way with schoolwork.
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: In his civilian identity, he typically wears a suit and tie as befitting for his work as a lawyer.
  • Beta Outfit: In Seasons 1 and 3, he uses a ninja-like outfit, including a mask with no eye holes.
  • Blessed with Suck: He may be blind, but due to all of his other senses being heightened, he can perceive far more than the average human can.
  • Blind Seer: Uses his other enhanced senses to "see." He describes it as a "world on fire."
  • Blind Weaponmaster: While Matt usually fights with his fists, he undoubtedly embraces the rest of the "blind warrior" archetype. He's extremely skilled with his billy-club becoming an Instant Expert with it, while before that there were the wooden sticks he got from Stick.
  • Blood Knight: A running theme is the question whether Matt just likes beating people to a pulp or not. Signs thus far suggest that he does, and being around Elektra seems to make it worse. Just being with her or fighting alongside her makes the Devil in him really comes out and he is greatly internally conflicted over it. In the Season 2 finale, he finally acknowledges that he needs to be Daredevil to feel complete. By the opening to The Defenders Season 1, he's been treating his adrenaline fix as an addiction, with his friends agreeing about it as such, including medication to keep him from going out. In Season 3, after coming back from "dying" at the end of Defenders, he goes out at the first possible opportunity, well before he's properly healed, to beat up some thugs.
  • Boxing Battler: He takes a bit after his father, who was a professional boxer, and his opening stance is a classic boxer's stance.
  • Break His Heart to Save Him: He distances himself from Foggy and Karen as season 2 goes on, thinking that it will be safer for them if he's not part of their lives anymore. It doesn't keep, and after Karen gets kidnapped by the Hand, he realizes it's better to let Karen in on the secret. After he returns from the "dead" in season 3, he switches back and forth between following this mentality to keep them safe from Fisk, then letting them in when he needs their help, then going back to this once they're put in danger again, before finally abandoning it for good in the season finale.
  • Breakout Character: Daredevil has been one of the lesser known Marvel heroes for quite awhile, never quite reaching the popularity of heroes like Spider-Man or the X-Men. After the acclaim of the Netflix series, his popularity has skyrocketed, with his series being considered one of the best works in the MCU as a whole. Daredevil's role in the Marvel TV-verse has even been compared to the way Iron Man ended up kicking off the MCU.
  • Brooklyn Rage: Born and raised in Hell's Kitchen, and the kind of guy you seriously don't want to piss off.
  • Brought Down to Badass: Even after the massive physical trauma he suffered over the course of The Defenders causes his Disability Superpower to go on the fritz in season 3, he's still able to fight through tons of goons with just his combat training.
  • Bulletproof Vest: He asks for a new armored costume from Melvin Potter but he collects it before "the process" is complete, so only the black portions are bulletproof. The red portions (the majority of it) will only stop a knife coming in at certain angles.
  • The Casanova: Matt could give Tony Stark a run for his money. According to Foggy, he has the requisite string of exes, but there's no hint of any of them ending on a bad note, and the only times he's shown in romantic flings are briefly with Claire and later with Karen in the present day and with Elektra in flashbacks. From what we see on screen, Matt's actually The Charmer combined with Chick Magnet.
  • Catchphrase: Tends to favor "Not so much" when out of costume, "We good?" when in it, and "I'm going to ask you again. Think about your answer" when he's interrogating someone.
  • Character Development:
    • As the series wears on, Matt's hatred for criminals (especially Fisk) gradually begins to overwhelm him, to the point where his Thou Shalt Not Kill rule gets put in question time and again. After Nobu kills Elektra, Matt becomes so enraged he willingly tosses him over the edge of a building, fully intent on murdering him and only failing by sheer luck. Worse yet, when Fisk takes back his role as the Big Bad of the series in season 3, Matt decides that death is the only thing that could possibly put him down. But in the end, he decides he can't cross that line after all.
    • His addiction to violence worsens as the series goes on, and though he makes sincere attempts to adjust himself throughout the show, going out there and beating up criminals time and again proves to be the only thing that fulfills him beyond helping innocent people.
    • A little more subtle than most examples, but at the end of Season 1, Matt begins to let people into his (vigilante) life and start to actually take their advice rather than ignoring them, most notably getting the Daredevil armor.
  • Character Tics:
    • Matt grips the handle of his cane tightly with both hands when under stress.
    • He has a tendency to stand with both hands on his hips when he's having a private meeting in an office.
    • Charlie Cox has stated that Matt compulsively puts his glasses on when he's around Karen because he feels like she can see through him.
    • When listening to a distant sound, he will tilt his head sharply. It's never explicitly stated, but this is almost certainly a use of binaural hearing to help him locate the source of the sound, in much the same way dogs do.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: His superpowers only help him maintain a heightened awareness of his surroundings. His physical abilities are all the result of pushing an otherwise-normal human body to the limit.
  • Chick Magnet: Karen Page, Claire Temple, and Elektra Natchios are attracted to him, and even Vanessa Marianna flirts with him gently when she meets him at her art gallery. Foggy openly complains about it several times.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: Matt's inability to take a break for a night, combined with his need to pursue the truth in court, affects both his personal and professional life. Matt starts having serious problems in the beginning of the first Defenders season, as while he's put aside his Daredevil costume, he still finds himself driven to go out and fight to protect people in Hell's Kitchen. Foggy even brings him some casework for similar pro bono cases he's been doing, hoping that it will help keep Matt busy when he gets the urge to go out and beat up criminals on the streets.
  • Comic-Book Movies Don't Use Codenames: He only picks up the Daredevil name at the end of the first season, until then being known simply as "the man in the mask", "the Devil of Hell's Kitchen" or "the man in black". Ironically, Matt is the only one of the four to try and maintain a secret identity.
    • Eventually subverted in Season 2. The character is called Daredevil a lot throughout the season (although sometimes "The Devil of Hell's Kitchen" is still used). The subtitles even change from calling him "The Man in the Mask" to "Daredevil".
    • Entirely averted in season 3, in which the "Devil of Hell's Kitchen" moniker is completely dropped, and his alter ego is exclusively referred to as Daredevil.
  • Cool Shades:
    • Since he's blind, Matt wears a pair of red sunglasses to hide his occluded pupils and to obscure the fact that his eyes might not necessarily be directed towards whomever he's speaking to.
    • Matt's red Daredevil costume also sports a pair of blood red lenses over the eyes.
  • The Cowl: To contrast The Cape that many Avengers like Captain America or Iron Man are known for. Matt is a Terror Hero who snoops around in the shadows of the night, striking fear into the hearts of criminals.
  • Crisis of Faith: After almost dying during the events of The Defenders and losing half of his hearing Matt spends most of Season 3 bitter at God for constantly making him suffer even comparing himself to Job "God's perfect soldier" who got nothing but misery for his trouble. It's left ambiguous at the end of the season if he has resolved his issues with God but he at least isn't cursing his name anymore so things seem better.
  • Crusading Lawyer: His goal is to use the legal system to make Hell's Kitchen a much better place. This doesn't quite work out as planned, leading to a career in superheroics.
  • Cursed with Awesome: Due to his enhanced senses, Matt has to concentrate or else everything will override his sensory perceptions.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: In spite of wearing all black, and later donning a devil outfit, he's a heroic character.
  • Deadpan Snarker: One of the snarkiest characters in both his series and The Defenders (which is saying something considering that the latter especially is a World of Snark). Sometimes crosses into Disabled Snarker when he cracks wise about his blindness; see below.
  • Dented Iron: He receives several deep gashes during his fight with Nobu. While it doesn't noticeably slow him down during the fights when he returns to action, he re-opens the stitched wounds and requires more time to heal between fights. By season two he's pretty much reached Covered in Scars status.
    Matt: Yeah, the Russians like their knives. At least, I think it was the Russians.
    • At the start of Season 3, he is definitely this after surviving a building dropping on him which has left him deaf in one ear and left his senses out of wack making him "blind" again. He does eventually fully recover but his injuries end up severely impeding his ability to fight for the first few episodes.
  • Determinator: Like his father in the ring, what really makes him a formidable opponent is his ability to keep on fighting no matter how many hits he takes. It's really showcased in "Cut Man" when he's sporting broken ribs and stab wounds, yet still takes on about a dozen guys singlehandedly to rescue a young kidnapped boy. During the fight he's obviously completely exhausted and in pain, and several times needs to lean against a wall to catch his breath, but he still manages to disable every single mook and rescue the boy.
  • Disability-Negating Superpower: Blinded since a young age, Matt's other senses were heightened to the extent where they are able to completely compensate for his lack of sight.
  • Disability Superpower: While he lost his eyesight years ago, he can "see" with his other heightened senses.
  • Disabled Snarker:
    • When the realtor, who is showing Foggy around the office they are looking to buy, says they'll need to flip a coin to see who gets the office with a view, Matt says he's fine with Foggy having it.
    • Also:
      Foggy Nelson: Softball! When are we getting a company team together?
      Karen Page: We only have three employees, Foggy.
      Matt Murdock: At least two of them aren't blind.
    • From The Defenders:
      Misty Knight: As of right now, you're a person of interest. A witness to a crime.
      Matt: A witness? What, you want me to describe how they sounded, Detective?
  • Establishing Character Moment: Gets one as a kid, selflessly saving an old man at the cost of losing his eyesight to chemicals.
  • Eye Scream: He got a vat of chemicals sprayed into his eyes in a car accident.
  • Fights Like a Normal: Matt possesses heightened senses, but what really allows him to fight crime is his mastery of martial arts.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: In the Defenders, he's Sanguine.
  • Frame-Up:
    • Season 1:
      • Fisk bombs several buildings around Hell's Kitchen that belong to the Russians, and also pays a sniper to shoot several cops, then blames it all on the Devil of Hell's Kitchen. It takes quite a while for Matt to get people to believe that he wasn't the real perpetrator.
    • Fisk also does this to both his Matt Murdock and Daredevil identities in season 3:
      • Fisk is able to gain his power by acting as an informant on other criminals. After Matt survives multiple attempts on his life from Fisk, Fisk retaliates by falsely naming him as a crooked lawyer who managed numerous illegal schemes for him, sending the FBI on a manhunt for Matt.
      • He also forces Melvin Potter to make a new red Daredevil suit (which Matt was currently not using, since his own was destroyed at Midland Circle), then has Benjamin Poindexter wear it while conducting attacks and committing murders in a newspaper office and a church, in order to discredit Daredevil in the eyes of New York's populace.
  • Friend to All Children: The reason Matt first put on the mask? To help a little girl when the law couldn't. The reason he got ambushed and beat to a pulp in the second episode? He was trying to rescue a kidnapped boy. The reason he got into a fight with Stick? His mentor killed a child. Matt is consistently compelled to defend kids to the point the compulsion can be exploited. His own rough childhood probably plays a part.
  • "Friends" Rent Control: Jessica wonders how he can afford his spacious corner apartment even though he's now a pro bono lawyer and thus earning less money than he was earning at Nelson & Murdock. Like with Karen, Matt points out to Jessica the billboard across the street. It's also been implied that Matt may have inherited Elektra's money after her death.

    G - N 
  • Genius Bruiser: A master martial artist who graduated top in law school and one of the best attorneys out there.
  • Good Is Not Nice: Matt is mostly a nice person but that's because he vents a lot of his aggressiveness being Daredevil, willing to torture and pound criminal's faces in way past necessity. He also tends to slip Foggy with most of the work he accepted due to his double life.
  • Good Is Not Soft: He goes for bone breaks to incapacitate his opponents and can be quite brusque when dealing with civilians as Daredevil. But he's as gentle as possible when dealing with potentially traumatized victims, especially children. A good example of this is "Cut Man", where he tears through a small army of human traffickers, then takes his mask off so the little boy he's rescuing won't be scared.
    • He is also extremely gentle when he rescues Claire, pulling her into his arms for a heartfelt, comforting hug once she starts crying in relief, sharing a brief Headbutt of Love, and whispering, "I'm here. I have you." It's a fantastic foil to the moment before, where he brutally beat the man who hurt her, as he instantly transitions into being sweet to her.
  • Good Lawyers, Good Clients: It zigzags.
    • Matt decides to defend Karen Page in the pilot, despite her lack of money to pay them, because he knows she's innocent.
    • At the same time, one of Nelson & Murdock's first paying clients is John Healy, a clearly guilty sociopathic hitman, who they defend for the substantial fee (and, on Matt's end, to help him burrow into Fisk's organization).
    • Early on in the series, he mentions his desire to do this. It's why he and Foggy set up their tiny law-firm rather than take a lucrative job with Landman and Zack.
    • He chooses to defend Grotto despite being a former gangster since he believes that he really does want a second chance. Upon learning that he has murdered innocent people, he's visibly horrified (though he refuses to let the Punisher kill him).
    • Matt ultimately decides to defend Frank Castle, a very controversial decision given what he is, all because as Daredevil, Matt was able to see the good in Frank and felt he did not deserve the death penalty.
  • Guile Hero: When he's not beating up people as his Daredevil persona, Matt is a Crusading Lawyer able to use his vast knowledge of the law to twist his opponents into submission.
  • Guttural Growler: Similar to Christian Bale's Batman, he adopts a much gruffer and growlier voice than normal when he's in costume. In Season 2, this has faded and he uses his normal voice, albeit with a more intense tone than Matt uses normally.
  • Handicapped Badass: He can kick your ass in a fight and in the courtroom - even if he's blind.
  • Healing Factor: His mentor Stick taught him how to go into a meditative trance that accelerates his body's natural healing ability. Good thing too, because Matt racks up an astounding number of broken bones and cuts throughout the series.
  • Hearing Voices: During Season 3 Matt starts seeing hallucinations of Wilson Fisk after the real version was released from prison who continuously mocks and berates Matt for his failures and that he will never win until he is ready to kill. Later on in the season he also starts having hallucinations of his father after finding out that Sister Maggie was his mother all along who tells his that she left them because she could see "the devil" in them.
  • Heartbroken Badass: In The Defenders, he's still mourning over Elektra's death, to the point that he's given up on being Daredevil completely. In the meantime, he's doing pro bono law work for disadvantaged people in Hell's Kitchen. He and Karen Page are back on speaking terms, but are not quite sure about resuming their romantic relationship. In the first episode, he is seen going to confessional and opening up to Father Lantom about how difficult Elektra's death has been on him:
    Father Lantom: This other life you led. Is your heart still with it [Daredevil], or is your heart with the one who walked through it by your side?
    Matt Murdock: Elektra?
    Father Lantom: Yeah.
    Matt Murdock: I do miss her. But how do I know that the things she brought out of me were wrong?
    Father Lantom: From what you've told me about her, I think she'd be happy about how well you're doing.
    Matt Murdock: Maybe. Or maybe she'd tell me I'm abandoning that life and with it, her memory.
    Father Lantom: You're not abandoning Elektra, you don't have it in you. What you're doing, we call that 'moving on'. Purgatory is a place for the dead, Matthew, not the living. There's nothing wrong with letting people go. She'll find her peace. I pray you find yours as well.
  • Hello, Attorney!: He's played by the handsome and well-built Charlie Cox, so natch.
  • Heroic Bastard: His parents weren't married.
  • He's Back:
    • After apparently dying in the Midland Circle Crisis at the end of The Defenders, he makes his return in the beginning of season 3 of his own series. Downplayed, though, in that it takes him a while to recover and he has a few false starts first.
    • He also spends most of season 3 Darker and Edgier, since he Took a Level in Cynic, suffered a crisis of faith, and multiple times expressed his intention to leave his Matt Murdock persona behind entirely. By the end of the season, though, he's calmed down and mostly returned to his old self, regained his faith, and decided to live as Matt Murdock again, even agreeing to go into business once more with Foggy and Karen.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: He's been this with Foggy Nelson since their college days, as best friends who start a law firm together and are clearly very close. Unfortunately, their friendship starts to fall apart in season 2 as a result of the strain caused by Matt's double life, and it remains broken through The Defenders and the beginning of the third season, even though it's clear that they still do care about each other a lot. Luckily, by the end of season 3, they've patched things up and are back to being this again.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: As described above, Daredevil is described as someone who is one bad day away from crossing the line, and like Batman, his no-killing code is the thing that keeps him from becoming as bad as the criminals he fights.
  • Hyper-Awareness: Comes from his Super Senses.
  • Hypocrite: He upholds the law in court while breaking it on the streets. He's fully aware of this, but feels that he needs to break the law in order to protect it.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: Normal for the character, though they don't show up until the second season. He procures some iron batons and bounces them off walls. Sometimes he catches them on the rebound, not too dissimilar to Cap and his shield.
  • In-Series Nickname:
    • Stick tends to refer to him as "Matty".
    • Frank Castle always calls his alter ego "Red".
    • His alter ego receives several—the Man in Black, the Man in the Mask, the Devil of Hell's Kitchen—before the populace eventually settles on Daredevil.
  • In the Blood: He remembers his grandma saying that the Murdock boys have the Devil in them, and his father was known for sometimes snapping during boxing matches and looking possessed instead of going down, explaining where Matt's Blood Knight tendencies come from.
  • I Work Alone: He repeatedly insists he can't be part of a team because it endangers Karen and Foggy.
  • Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: Matt regularly beats what he wants to know out of people, sometimes even using more-creative and horrible ways of hurting them than his fists. Fortunately, the primary problem with torture (the victim saying whatever the torturer wants to hear to make it stop) is at least partially countered by being a Living Lie Detector.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Foggy admittedly has some fair points when calling Matt out for his vigilantism, among other lectures Matt was admittedly deserving of. However, the fact that Foggy never gives Matt a break and made some pretty unfair accusations made Matt entirely justified in telling Foggy he's sick and tired of apologizing for what he is.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: To name one example, his first real act as Daredevil was to beat an abusive father to the point where he spent a month in hospital eating through a straw.
  • Kryptonite Factor: He depends on his hearing more than his other remaining senses. The enemy who challenges him the most is the Hand, who train to slow their heartbeats and minimize their breathing, and move in almost complete silence.
  • Le Parkour: Complementing his skill at martial arts, Matt is a master traceur. It serves him well chasing bad guys around the city.
  • The Leader: Discussed. Stick thinks Matt should lead the Defenders, but Matt doesn't think he's leader material. He becomes something of an unofficial leader in the final episode, as the others ultimately follow his decisions.
  • Lennon Specs: His iconic glasses.
  • A Lighter Shade of Grey: Towards the Punisher. He is no angel, but unlike Frank, he has great distaste for killing and almost always tries to outright avoid doing so.
  • Living Lie Detector: He's able to figure out if the person he's talking to is lying based on sensing their heartbeat. Foggy is ticked off to learn this years into their friendship, considering it an invasion of privacy.
  • The Lost Lenore: While he's presumed "dead" following Midland Circle, he becomes one for Karen.
  • Made of Iron: Despite being stabbed, getting a few ribs broken and nearly suffocated, it only takes a short time and some emergency first aid for Matt to recover enough to take on a dozen Russian gangsters armed with guns.
  • Movie Superheroes Wear Black: His first outfit is all black (with a bit of red piping), in an Homage to a costume from Frank Miller's Man Without Fear Origins Episode. Melvin eventually builds him a red devil costume in the season 1 finale, though it does sport black armored parts. In season 3, he goes back to the black outfit after his red one was destroyed from the Midland Circle collapse in The Defenders.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Not so much in the first season, but there are multiple separate occasions in the second season where he appears in only a pair of boxers, seemingly for no reason at least once.
  • Muggle-and-Magical Love Triangle: Has one develop in Season 2, as Matt tries to juggle his newfound romantic feelings for Karen Page while also fighting the Hand with his old college flame, the also Chaste-trained Elektra Natchios.
  • Nice Guy: One of the main reasons Matt became a vigilante in the first place; he cares a lot about people.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown:
    • Frequently inflicts these. Justified, since he's not super-humanly strong like Captain America, and therefore can't knock guys out in one or two punches. Sometimes, however, he inflicts these on people he interrogates and beats people longer than necessary.
    • Comes close to killing Frank after he shoots Grotto and only stops beating him to try and save the latter.
  • The Nose Knows: Besides sound, he can also locate people and objects by smell, even if they are on the other sides of walls or on different floors of a building.
  • Not So Different:
    • With Wilson Fisk. Both had traumatic experiences in their childhoods that have shaped who they are, both were strongly influenced by their fathers, both believe they are helping the city become a better place and use unlawful means to do so - whether it be Matt pummeling thugs and criminals, or Fisk using corruption, coercion, or lethal force - and both have loved ones whom they want to protect from their line of work. A few characters often draw comparisons between him and Fisk due to his willingness to do whatever it takes.
    • With Frank Castle. Both take the law into their own hands as it fits them. Frank even says that Matt is only one bad day away from being him. Proven somewhat right in the end, as Matt indeed resorts to lethal force on Nobu after being pushed far enough, even though he isn't the one who ultimately kills him.
    • With Karen Page. Both have great compassion for those in need of help, and can't let any injustice slide. No wonder they fall for each other. The only difference really is the routes they go in, not to mention Karen has crossed the no-killing line Matt refuses to cross himself when she killed James Wesley.

    O - S 
  • Obfuscating Disability: He pretends that his abilities are on par with those of most other blind people. In truth, his super-senses and intense training make him capable of feats the vast majority of humans (sighted or blind) couldn't even conceive of attempting.
  • One-Man Army: On the low end. On one hand, enemies don't immediately go down just because Matt pastes them one. It can take a full minute for him to disable a single grunt. On the other, pretty much anyone — including most of the world's most exceptional military operatives — would get ground into hamburger if they tried to take on a dozen healthy, blooded fighters on their own ground with nothing but their bare hands. Matt can do it with a home-stitched stab wound in his side.
  • Parental Abandonment:
    • Where his dad made a Heroic Sacrifice not fixing a fight he was supposed to fix, Matt's mom's absence is never really explained. His mother finally appears in season 3, though Matt doesn't find out that she's his mother until over halfway through the season.
    • Matt viewed Stick as a father-figure, though he eventually left Matt when he saw that he was getting too attached to Matt.
  • Percussive Therapy: Matt wails on some punching bags at Fogwell's when he's frustrated or despondent. There's an implication that it's also why he punches people - he sometimes keeps hitting well after the fight's obviously over or he has the info he needs in an interrogation.
  • Pistol-Whipping: During his signature hallway fight in Season 1, he uses guns as clubs.
  • Positive Friend Influence: To Elektra, when his unflinching belief in her goodness keeps her from joining the Hand after being revealed as the Black Sky.
    • To Frank Castle, who, despite choosing to fully embrace his "Punisher" persona in the end, is at least won over enough by Matt's unwavering belief against taking a life to admit that it's not a choice one should make (or at least not if it's not what one believes in) and actually talks Matt out of considering killing the Blacksmith.
    • Helps cement Danny Rand's development from a revenge-driven human weapon into a genuinely altruistic superhero with his Heroic Sacrifice at Midland Circle.
  • Purely Aesthetic Glasses: His glasses, because he's blind.
  • Raised Catholic: His religion from the comics is fully present, with occasional visits to confessional over his activities. He also jokes that his ability to take a beating and keep going is a result of his Catholicism.
  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: Matt heard a man who raped/molested his own daughter while his wife slept, but when Matt called Child Protective Services it couldn't be proven. He decided to deal out some personal justice. Foggy can only shudder in horror as Matt describes the acts.
  • Reality Ensues: Thanks to his enhanced senses, Matt's blindness doesn't slow him down in the least when it comes to crime fighting. However, he is still unable to perform simple actions such as reading text on paper or viewing things on screens. For example, after finding the blueprints for Midland Circle, he needs Jessica to describe them to him.
  • Real Men Love Jesus: Matt struggling with his vigilante activities and his faith in God are a source for drama throughout the seasons.
  • Red Baron: The criminals refer to him as the "Man in the Mask" or the "Man in Black". He also gains the title of the "Devil of Hell's Kitchen" from the press, even before he dons the familiar red outfit. By the end of the season it has morphed to "Daredevil", but the Hand leaders still call him the old "Devil of Hell's Kitchen".
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Invoked. His mask includes red lenses, both to hide his blindness and make make him appear more demonic, in order to intimidate the criminals he fights.
  • Religious Bruiser: A devout Catholic, he spends a good portion of the series talking to a priest, trying to iron out the moral difficulties in being a vigilante.
  • Rule of Symbolism: Very often, Matt has his glasses off (when in civvies) or his helmet off (when in costume) when he is most vulnerable. Such as when he's admitting to Karen that he'd give anything to see the sky one last time, or during his climactic fight with Elektra during The Defenders.
  • Rules Lawyer: Pun aside, he uses a technicality that exists in New York state law to get Healy released and later justifies his climactic fight with Fisk by pointing out that the man is a fugitive and he was conducting a citizen's arrest.
  • Sadist: When interrogating Semyon with Claire, he tells Semyon that part of the reason why he's a vigilante is that he enjoys inflicting pain on people who deserve it. After he's knocked unconscious, Claire strongly disagrees with that sentiment. While Matt most likely said that to intimidate him, season 2 in particular portrays him as loving the adrenaline and thrill of fighting.
  • Screw the Money, I Have Rules!: Matt convinces Foggy to quit Landman & Zack despite them being guaranteed a lucrative position at the firm because he doesn't want to spend his life protecting guilty corporations.
  • Secret Identity: One of the select few ones in the MCU, and the show goes to great lengths to explain why they are so rare - superheroics are a full-time job, and Matt's life as Daredevil makes his life as a lawyer practically impossible to maintain due to injuries and time.
  • Sensory Overload: Due to his Super Senses, it took training from Stick before he could overcome it, and yet he still suffers from it. He even has silk sheets because cotton feels like sandpaper to him.
  • Slasher Smile: Noticeable in Season 2, where he's visibly enjoying many of his fights.
  • Small Steps Hero: Many characters note that he really didn't have a big picture in mind when he first started putting on the mask. He just wanted to start punching bad guys until the world was fixed.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: More than half the time, Matt's appearances among the bad guys (and sometimes the good guys) come with him just appearing in a spot he wasn't standing in a moment ago when the camera panned away.
  • The Stoic: Compared with Foggy, he's quite collected and soft-spoken.
  • Sunglasses at Night: Wears sunglasses during the day and at night, because he's blind.
  • Super Hero Origin: The Cold Open shows him getting chemicals splashed in his eyes as a kid, which granted him heightened senses.
  • Superman Stays Out of Gotham: A variant, as he and Jessica Jones actually cover the same neighborhood, but she still doesn't want him involved in her fight against Kilgrave out of fear that he'd only provide another mind-controlled superhero. Which is ironic since in the comics, Kilgrave started as a Daredevil villain and Matt's heightened senses rendered him immune to Kilgrave.
    • In Season 3, Fisk pretty much takes over the NYPD and the involved FBI offices. He becomes so dangerous, even Daredevil plots to just straight-up kill him. Yet, he decides not to reach out to Frank Castle who would be ecstatic over this type of scenario.
  • Super Senses: Though he's blind, all his other senses are heightened, to the point that he can detect slight changes in air pressure or temperature and track by scent and sound. This is his main asset to the Defenders, who rely on him to monitor unknown territory for enemies.
    • He knows when there's an open wound by tasting copper in the air, he can identify the sounds of fractures, and he has "X-Ray fingers" that can analyze the extent of an injury.
    • He's also a Living Lie Detector who can monitor a person's heartbeat to see if they are lying.
    • In the Defenders he also states he can "hear neon" as in the neon lights, much to the confusion of Luke.

    T - Z 
  • Take Up My Sword: His last words to Danny before he stays behind to try to redeem Elektra before they're both seemingly killed is to tell him to protect New York.
  • The Team Normal: While he does have heightened senses, he's the most "normal" out of all of the Defenders, not possessing enhanced physical attributes like all of the others do. There's also the fact his Super Senses are there to compensate for his lack of sight to begin with and he otherwise Fights Like a Normal.
  • Technical Pacifist: He won't kill if he can avoid it, but uses a lot of violence against enemies, and even enjoys it.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Somewhat with Elektra. While she pisses him off to no end, it's pretty obvious that he enjoys working with her, going by the constant smile he keeps fighting. It's also shown that even with Karen and him beginning a relationship, Matt still has lingering feelings for Elektra.
  • Terror Hero: He plans to clean up crime by inflicting violence to keep criminals in fear of him. His second costume in particular evokes a demon.
  • Third Act Stupidity: Suffers from this in season 3, while facing off against Dex. Matt never thinks to add head protection regardless how many times a thrown object hits him in the face. He gets Muay Thai wraps for his fists though.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill:
    • The first protagonist in the MCU who hasn't killed anyone directly and makes a point of not doing so, despite his large number of anti-heroic traits. Though after the murder of Mrs. Cardenas, he was actually planning on murdering Fisk and ultimately attempts to defy this by shoving Nobu off a roof, though this doesn't end up being how Nobu dies.
    • In season two both Frank and Elektra shake his standing on this, and when Elektra is almost fatally injured after Matt distracts her by preventing her from killing he stops saying anything about it to her during fights. When Nobu kills Elektra, he stops caring about the fact that Frank is sniping the ninjas around him, and even throws Nobu himself off a roof. Although once again, Nobu lives through it... until Stick got him.
    • For most of season 3, he's fully planning to avert this and kill Fisk when he gets the chance, feeling it's the only way to stop him. So far throughout the season, he unveils a much more brutal fighting style than we've seen previously out of him, and appears much more lax with following this rule in extenuating circumstances, such as when he directs Nadeem to fire at several dirty cops, and listening for their heartbeats to know where they are. In the end, though, he's unable to go through with it and decides that Fisk doesn't get to destroy who he is, choosing to send him back to prison instead and playing this trope straight once more.
  • Took a Level in Badass: By Season 2 he has better equipment and can now fight people who can mask their heartbeat easier than with his fight with Nobu. His multiple fights with Nobu in Season 2 shows that Matt is close to his level if not on par, with the fights going one way or the other instead of being completely one-sided.
  • Took a Level in Cynic and Jerkass: For most of season 3, wherein he's much darker and angrier, suffers a crisis of faith, is a pretty crappy friend to Karen and Foggy, and plans to abandon his no-kill rule, as he believes killing Fisk is the only way to bring him down for good. Thankfully, he gets better by the end of the season, after he apologizes to his friends for his behavior, regains his faith, successfully ends Fisk's schemes without killing him, and decides to go back into business with Foggy and Karen.
  • Tranquil Fury: It's clear he holds down a reserve of intense rage, but he keeps it firmly lidded. Until he doesn't.
  • Triple Shifter: Matt works during the day as a lawyer and spends his nights as a vigilante. This catches up with him in Season 2 when he has Frank Castle's trial and his battles with the Hand at the same time. He oversleeps and is late for opening statements and later his injuries mean that he cannot show up to court at all. Foggy has to take over the case and by the end of the season Matt's reputation as a lawyer is in tatters.
  • Urban Legend Love Life: The closest thing to an intimate relationship is the one Matt begins to form with Karen in Season 2, yet until he learns the truth about Matt's nighttime pastime, Foggy always assumes Matt is busy with a girl, has a spare phone for them, etc. Though, Season 2 does show his past relationship with Elektra, which does shed some light as to why Foggy would assume this about Matt.
  • Weak, but Skilled: Compared to Jessica Jones and Luke Cage, Matt lacks Super Strength or endurance and has a tougher time against multiple opponents. However he is by far the most skilled in combat, with his heavy experience in fighting and decades of training more than making up for what he lacks in raw power.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Matt fears that he could become a worse criminal than those he targets in his crime-fighting career, and Frank Castle and Elektra challenge that belief.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: A lot. Its pretty good for reconciling the hero’s survival despite some of the odds he faces. Without these moments, the fact that he’s still alive would be a persisting head scratcher.
    • Foggy calls him out at first for keeping his abilities and identity as Daredevil a secret. And just for being Daredevil in general and fighting outside the law.
    • And again for not letting him know what he was doing with Elektra during the Frank Castle case.
    • The other Defenders call him out for not letting them know about his past with Elektra, the woman who was trying to kill them the whole time.
    • This biggest one though, is probably hitting Dex’s berserk button, and sicking him on Fisk’s wedding. By this point, its pretty impossible for Daredevil to guarantee people won’t die because of this, and he doesn’t really care.
  • What You Are in the Dark: After Nobu kills Elektra, Matt tosses him off the roof of the building they're on in an attempt to kill him, seemingly proving that if pushed enough, Matt will break his Thou Shalt Not Kill rule. However, when he has Fisk at his mercy by the end of season 3, he ultimately decides not to kill him and let him face justice.
  • With My Hands Tied: Cuff his hands behind his back, he'll kick your ass while cuffed, then get free.
  • Working-Class Hero: He comes from a working-class background and mostly handles pro bono legal work for disadvantaged people in Hell's Kitchen who can't afford the higher-priced firms.
  • Working with the Ex: He and Elektra work together in season 2 to investigate the Yakuza.
  • Wouldn't Hurt a Child: And he absolutely despises people that do.
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