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Characters / Pokémon Protagonists And Rivals: Galar

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The protagonists and rivals of Pokémon Sword and Shield.

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The Protagonists

    General Tropes 
  • The Ace: Despite being a newbie trainer, they absolutely demolish their first gym challenge, catch at least one of the region's legendaries including Eternatus, and defeat the region's formerly invincible Champion. By the endgame, they're referred to as Leon's greatest challenger ever, a hero of Galar, and a brilliant rising star.
  • Action Fashionista: If the descriptions of their clothes are any indication, they enjoy wearing designer brands and looking good, as shown by the vast array of clothes, makeup, and hairstyles available to them. They also become the strongest trainer in the region.
  • Agent Peacock: You can dress them up any way you like and have them spontaneously pirouette and pose in the street by running around in circles. Of course, they soon become the greatest trainer in the region.
  • Ascended Fanboy: If their tendency to pose like Leon upon victory is any indication, it's likely that they've been a fan of Leon for years at this point and his endorsement was just the cherry on top.
  • Badass Adorable: A preteen who loves to make all sorts of goofy poses and faces on their Trainer Cards also happens to be a battling prodigy who bulldozes their first Gym Challenge and even earns the title of Champion.
  • Bag of Holding: They always have a backpack or suitcase on them at all times to stash away all of their Póke Balls, medicine, berries, and other useful items they acquire throughout their journey.
  • Big Eater: They can eat several dishes of curry consecutively without any decay. Especially with Gigantamix Curry, which magically makes the curry serving gigantic by default.
  • Bizarre Taste in Food: They, and by extension, their Pokémon, can enjoy curries with some rather... unusual toppings, such as melted cheese, sliced apples, bananas, or even whipped cream.
  • Childhood Friends: With Hop, as their families are neighbors with each other. Averted in regards to Leon, however, as Hop mentions that you've never actually met his brother, presumably because his duties as Champion mean that he's too busy to return home often.
  • Child Prodigy: They dominate their very first gym challenge, clearing all eight gym leaders before challenging and defeating the Galar region's invincible Champion.
  • The Chosen One: Along with Hop by Zacian and Zamazenta aa the next Legendary heroes to fight against Eternatus.
  • Cool Shades: They can wear a variety of these, color-coded to a particular Pokemon type.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Dishes one out to virtually every trainer in Galar. Even commentary during the Champion Cup declares that they absolutely smashed through the competition, even though their opponents also cleared the Gym Challenge and the gym leaders were not holding back.
  • Defeating the Undefeatable: Their goal is to become the Champion by defeating Leon, who has gone undefeated in his entire career as a Pokémon Trainer. Naturally, they succeed.
  • Exotic Eye Designs: Makeup options let them put on contacts for a variety of exotic eye colors and designs, from multi-color swirls to stars to blazing, passionate fire.
  • Exposed to the Elements: They can wear the Water-type gym uniform anywhere, rain, snow, or shine. They also have no problems wearing nothing but shorts and a t-shirt into the frigid Route 10.
  • Famed In-Story: They gradually become more and more famous throughout their adventures, to the point that by the time of their battle with Leon, the crowd isn't sure whether to cheer for you or him. After becoming the Champion, everyone from the Pokémon Center nurses to random passerby will recognize you and call you the Champ.
  • Farm Boy: Or Farm Girl. The protagonist hails from rural and idyllic Postwick where they and Hop wrangled Wooloo as chores. Their home is just a stone's throw away from the Slumbering Weald, a dense, fog-filled forest, and their neighborhood is surrounded with rolling hills, flowing streams, and wide fields.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: They start out the game as some kid from a small town, with the only thing interesting about them being that the Champion sponsored them, by the end of the game? They've caught two Legendaries, defeated Leon, are acknowledged as the strongest Champion to ever live and are considered technical royalty.
  • Heroic Mime: Averted. Like in the previous generation, the player gets to choose their dialogue options, which range from cheerful and energetic to snarky and critical.
  • In the Hood: Downplayed. They can wear a variety of hoodies but they can't actually wear the hood.
  • Lethal Chef: Can occur if they screw up horribly when cooking curry. They visibly struggle to scarf it down and even Trubbish and Garbodor, whose natural diet consists of literal garbage, are disgusted by it.
  • Meaningful Name: The promotional names Victor and Gloria, in addition to their obvious meanings, could may also be a Shout-Out to the UK's national anthem.
    God save our gracious Queen! Long live our noble Queen! God save the Queen!
    Send her victorious, Happy and glorious, Long to reign over us, God save the Queen.
  • Nerves of Steel: While they show delight, awe, and surprise at times, they never show fear in times of adversity, whether it's staring down the strongest trainers in Galar or facing off against Eternatus, a monster of myth that threatens to devastate the entire region.
  • One-Note Cook: They're only shown cooking variations of curry, though sometimes they shake it up by serving it with giant Chansey eggs, adding sausages, or including burger steaks. But they can potentially be very good at it, so much so that if a Charizard-class curry is fed to a Pokémon, it will completely heal their HP, PP, and status on top of giving them a chunk of experience and boosting their friendship with you.
  • Perpetual Smiler: While they are overall more expressive than the often flat expressions of past protagonists, they still almost always have a small smile on their face, exuding either quiet contentment or confidence depending on the situation.note  They beam and pose like Leon upon winning a League match.
  • Purely Aesthetic Glasses: Can don these if they so choose.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: They're the quiet and reserved Blue Oni to Hop's energetic and talkative Red Oni.
  • Schrödinger's Player Character: The one you don't choose doesn't show up in the story.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Whatever hair and skin colors are picked for them at the start of the game will be shared by their mother.
  • Underestimating Badassery: At the start of the game, while both the protagonist and Hop were sponsored by Leon, most of the Gym Challenge pay more attention to Hop, being the brother of the current Champion, rather than some unknown kid from a small town, even Leon himself intended them only to be Hop's rival. Gradually subverted as the game goes on however as the more victories the protagonist racks, the more Galar starts to notice, by the time they face off against Leon They are a national hero and the crowd can't decide whether they want them or the Champion to win.
  • Walking Swimsuit Scene: Can choose to be this by wearing the Water-type gym uniform.

    "Victor" ("Masaru") 

Victor / Masaru (マサル masaru)

The male main character of Pokémon Sword and Shield, a boy living a quiet life in Postwick with his neighbor and childhood friend Hop. After receiving a starter Pokémon and endorsement from the Champion and Hop’s older brother, Leon, Victor is ready to set out across the Galar region and partake in the Gym Challenge. However, before he and Hop can leave Postwick, they end up having to chase a Wooloo who strayed into the Slumbering Weald. There, the duo runs into a mysterious Pokémon in the mist.

  • Fashionable Asymmetry: His default pair of designer jeans is torn on one side but not the other.
  • Meaningful Name: Both his English and Japanese names refer to "victory".
  • Nice Hat: A beanie that matches the rest of his outfit nicely.
  • Pink Girl, Blue Boy: Downplayed that it only applies to bottoms, but he wears torn blue denim jeans, while Gloria wears a pink dress that goes down to her thighs.
  • Red Is Heroic: His default outfit has red at his primary color and he's a kind, upstanding young man.

    "Gloria" ("Yūri") 

Gloria / Yūri (ユウリ yuuri)

The female main character of Pokémon Sword and Shield, a girl living a quiet life in Postwick with her neighbor and childhood friend Hop. After receiving a starter Pokémon and endorsement from the Champion and Hop’s older brother, Leon, Gloria is ready to set out across the Galar region and partake in the Gym Challenge. However, before she and Hop can leave Postwick, they end up having to chase a Wooloo who strayed into the Slumbering Weald. There, the duo runs into a mysterious Pokémon in the mist.

  • Bare Your Midriff: Can do this by wearing the Water Type or Dark Type Sport Tops.
  • Meaningful Name: Her English name is Latin for "glory" while Yūri can be romanized with the Kanji for "excellence".
  • Modesty Shorts:
    • Any particularly short skirts you put her in have these slightly visible, with same or darker color as the skirt.
    • Though not as obvious, her dress options have shorts underneath, too.
  • Nice Hat: Her tam o' shanter complements her outfit nicely.
  • Pink Girl, Blue Boy: She wears a pink dress that goes down to her thighs while Victor wears torn blue denim jeans.



Hop (ホップ hoppu)

The first rival in Sword and Shield. He is Leon's younger brother and the protagonist's neighbor who dreams to become a Champion like his elder brother and trains vigorously every day to reach his goal. Like Hau from the previous generation, he always selects the starter with a type weakness to the player's.

  • Ambiguously Brown: Like his brother Leon, he notably has a deeper skin tone than some of the other characters, but no defined race.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Was regarded as one by Leon in fond exasperation at one point in the game.
  • Blue Is Heroic: He's mostly clothed in blue and is a caring, passionate trainer.
  • Character Development: He starts out as brash and overconfident due to his relationship with the Champion, approaching every problem in life with reckless energy. Repeated setbacks like getting beaten by the protagonist over and over followed by an offscreen Curb-Stomp Battle from Bede put him into a funk that gets him to wonder what he's doing wrong. Once he snaps out of it, his energy returns, but it's been tempered considerably and he becomes more serious and focused. He even decides to give up on trying to follow in Leon's footsteps and devotes himself towards becoming a Pokémon Professor so he can help people and Pokémon wherever they are.
  • Character Tics: He often closes one eye whenever he gets upset.
  • The Chosen One: Along with the player by Zacian and Zamazenta aa the next Legendary heroes to fight against Eternatus.
  • Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: Post-game, he's clearly struggling with what to do with himself - made all the more obvious by the fact that his fellow gym challenge peers are settling into their new roles as Champion and gym leaders respectively. After going through the events of post game he realizes that he enjoys helping people as much as he enjoys professional battling, and resolves to become a Pokémon professor so that he can help even more people and Pokémon.
  • Deuteragonist: Much like Lillie from Sun and Moon, the game's story is just as much about Hop's growth as a character as it is about the player becoming the Champion of Galar.
  • Discard and Draw:
    • After getting his hide handed to him offscreen by Bede, he swaps out his entire team save his starter twice over for your fights against him in Stow-on-Side and Hammerlocke. He returns to using his usual Pokémon in Circhester, but he's learned from experimenting and keeps the Cramorant and Snorlax for later fights.
    • In the final storyline fight with him, he permanently retires said Cramorant in favor of Zamazenta/Zacian.
  • Fatal Flaw: Arrogance. Hop thinks very highly of himself thanks to his brother and his talent letting him cruise through the early Gyms. This lasts until Hop gets a Curb-Stomp Battle offscreen courtesy of Bede, who naturally proceeds to be a big jerk about it and call Hop a total disgrace to his family. Hop spends a long time after that in a clear funk, even losing to a Team Yell member at one point, constantly trying to figure out what he's doing wrong to the point of swapping out his entire team for two fights in desperation. He does eventually find his footing again, but noticeably never gets as hotheaded and arrogant as he was at the beginning.
  • Foil:
    • To Bede — both are highly confident in their own abilities and their connections, but while Hop is friendly with the player character regardless, Bede is just a smug Jerkass.
    • To Marnie — both have older brothers involved in the Pokémon League, but while Leon is the Champion and widely beloved, Piers is a lesser-known gym leader and the only one unable to use Dynamax in his battles. Additionally, Leon rarely interacts with the his brother in the story, while Piers does his best to help his sister on the Gym Challenge.
    • To N — partway through the story, Hop switches up his whole team twice, much like how N would use different teams for every battle. However, whereas N was doing so because he believed in Team Plasma's philosophy, Hop only does so when his philosophy (arrogantly believing himself the next Champion-to-be) is shattered by Bede's Curb-Stomp Battle.
      • Also like N, Hop eventually befriends and obtains the legendary Pokémon opposite to the player's. While N's beliefs are shattered and he is left to seek a new path in life after his legendary Pokémon was defeated, Hop instead comes to decide on his true purpose after the same thing happens to him.
  • Friendly Rival: Although he considers the protagonist his "true rival", he's never mean and is constantly helpful and cheerful around them.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration:
    • After being dealt several losses and struggling to figure out how to become a better trainer, when Hop challenges the player in Stow-on-side he has completely revamped his team, keeping only his starter, and leaving behind his first Pokémon, Wooloo. He does it again when battled on Route 7, once more keeping only his starter. This loss in particular is the one that cracks his ego permanently, and in the very next fight, his Wooloo is back, and has evolved as well.
    • Hop only gives the player his rare League Card after the opposite cover legendary joins his team. This card describes him as a hero in his own right and says that future battles between him and the player will be the stuff of legend, as Hop after this is the second-strongest trainer in the region, behind only Leon.
  • Good Feels Good: He enjoys helping others as much as he loves battling. So much so that he decides to try to become a Pokémon Professor instead of the Champion after the events of the game.
  • Goroawase Number: Similar to the Galar Gym Leaders, Hop is associated with the number "189", which is printed on his League Card ID. "189" is Hiyaku, or "Leaping", a nod to his name.
  • Graceful Loser: He grimaces after a loss, but is usually back to being energetic and cheerful not long afterwards. But this slowly fades as his numerous mounting losses get to him. By your match against him at the Pokémon League, he will clench his fists tightly with his head low after his defeat before giving a congratulatory smile in a display of sportsmanship. He may be mad that he lost, but he'll still try to be a good sport about it.
  • Heroic BSoD: Poor Hop goes through this when he suffers a humiliating defeat in the hands of Bede. Him constantly losing to you didn’t help matters, either. Thankfully, he does get out of his funk.
  • Hero-Worshipper: According to their father, Leon is Hop's hero who inspired him to try and unseat Leon as Champion. This is even seen in his battle animations in the finals, as he imitates Leon's habits and mentions rewatching all of Leon's battles before his battle with you.
  • Hot-Blooded: He's extremely eager to be a Pokémon Trainer and trains every day to reach his goal of becoming the champion, jumping at every opportunity for a friendly battle to show just how much he's grown. He also throws with so much force when Dynamaxing his starter that he nearly falls over in the process.
  • Inferiority Superiority Complex: He's insistent that he's going to be the next Champion, but is frustrated and disappointed by the constant losses he suffers against the protagonist and later Bede. It's also implied that he feels overshadowed by Leon, given how stunned he is when Leon calls him a rival in the post-game. This is also noticeable at his house, as Leon's pictures and awards are everywhere, but there are none for Hop.
  • Jerkass Ball: Hop is usually a nice guy, but he has his moments. After you defeat him in the semi-finals, he acts rude to the interviewers who are interviewing you (Though Hop did that to help Victor/Gloria who is implied to be getting overwhelmed with the onslaught of questions). He also acts impatient and angry when his brother Leon is apparently late for their dinner.
  • Leitmotif: A cheery, guitar-laden theme song plays when he's speaking to you throughout the game. This is also worked into his unique battle music, as well as its Triumphant Reprise during your semi-finals battle with him at the end of your Gym Challenge.
  • Meaningful Name: Hops are the flowers of the Humulus lupulus plant, tying into the floral Theme Naming major characters have. His decision to become a Pokemon Professor at the end of the game is foreshadowed by the fact there also exists species of trees known as hoptrees.
  • Motor Mouth: He has mid-fight dialogue for just about everything, from super effective moves to critical hits... and apparently the game is actively downplaying it for the player's benefit, because according to Raihan he spent their entire fight ranting.
  • Nice Guy: He's energetic, friendly, and sociable. Even when he loses.
  • Nice, Mean, and In-Between: The Nice one of the three rivals. He's the player character's longtime best friend and generally being supportive and helpful of them.
  • No Indoor Voice: Tends to get very loud when he's riled up, which is lampshaded by Piers.
    Piers: If you were that noisy durin' battle, you'd unleash a whole new level of power, you know.
  • Olympus Mons: He always gets the legendary opposite of yours, though it takes some time. If you happen to meet him in the Champion Cup after completing the post-game story, you will see that he has added it to his team.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Always starts his battles with Wooloo first. The fact that he doesn't in the next two battles, instead using Cramorant in Stow-on-side and Trevenant on Route 7 is a sign that something is wrong.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: Although he's a brilliant Trainer in his own right, Hop's confidence takes a hit after constant losses to the protagonist and an offscreen Curb-Stomp Battle from Bede. He also constantly lives in the shadow of his brother Leon, whose flawless battle streak makes Hop's own failures more glaring.
    Hop: [to the protagonist at the Pokémon League] You know, even when Sonia was saying that you and me looked like could become heroes, I never really felt like one...
  • Perpetual Smiler: It's rare to see him without a huge smile on his face. When he doesn't have one, he's either getting serious or things have taken a turn for the worse.
  • Privileged Rival: Downplayed in that he's the sibling instead of the child of a known figure. In this case the regional Champion, who's also the most famous person in the whole region.
  • Recurring Boss: You fight him a total of ten times during the plot.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: He's the energetic, talkative Red Oni to the passive and quiet protagonist's Blue Oni.
  • The Rival: Hop declares the protagonist to be his "true rival" and makes every effort to surpass them while showing some frustration when he finds himself lagging behind.
  • Shared Family Quirks: He and Leon have a habit of slapping their own cheeks to snap to attention before a battle.
  • Signature Mon: He always starts a battle with his Wooloo, which later evolves into a Dubwool. He even passes up the chance to get first dibs on a starter because he already has said Wooloo. His league card also specifically mentions his Wooloo in describing him. The fact that he leads instead with Cramorant and later Trevenant in your battles in Stow-on-side and Route 7 respectively is a major indicator that his losses have been getting to him.
  • Starter Mon: Like mentioned above, a Wooloo. He always leads with it, except during two battles where he's trying new things in terms of team composition, and after that, he puts it back on his team.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: He and Leon have the same skin tone, eye color and shape, and hair color.
  • Stuck in Their Shadow: invokedHop's older brother Leon is the undefeated Galar Champion. Even in their home, there's a ton of trophies and pictures of Leon, while Hop gets almost nothing. Even so, Hop's arrogance and ability to ride his brother's coattails means he doesn't have this too bad at the start of the story. However, late-game, Hop has clearly cooled his arrogance, and realizes that he's not Leon, and that he needs to find his own path.
  • Stunned Silence: In the post-game, he's at a loss for words when Leon acknowledges him as a rival.
  • Technicolor Eyes: A brassy gold.
  • To Be a Master: He's insistent that he's the next Champion from the get-go and frequently refers to himself as such. A slice of Humble Pie served up by Bede gets Hop to stop referring to himself as such before briefly swapping out his whole team save his starter in an attempt to eke out a victory over the protagonist. Later on, he ends up deciding to abandon trying to become the Champion and instead devotes himself towards becoming a Pokémon Professor.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Although he suffers from constant setbacks and losses to you throughout the story, by the end of the game his team is the strongest in the region next to Leon's. He even gets the opposite legendary to yours for your final rematch.
  • True Final Boss: He's the final storyline opponent of the post-game quest to catch the cover legendary, and he even has the opposite legendary in his party. Once you beat him for the final time, you get the "The End" message a second time.
  • The Worf Effect: Is often subject to this. During the course of the story, he is defeated not only by the player character, but also by Bede, Rose, and either Sordward (in Shield) or Shielbert (in Sword). It's especially noticeable late in the game where he loses his confidence as a trainer and questions his skill due to the numerous losses he had during the gym challenge.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: A deep navy blue to be precise, much like his big brother.

    Bede (Beet) 

Bede / Beet (ビート biito)

The second rival in Sword and Shield. He is skilled at Pokémon battles and proud about it. His Gym Challenge was personally endorsed by Chairman Rose of the Galar Pokémon League. While he is after the position of Champion, he has other goals as well. He is initially a Psychic-type specialist, but over the course of the story, shifts to specialize in Fairy-types instead.

  • Achilles' Heel: He specializes in Psychic-types, so Dark-types eat him alive. He gets better after switching to Fairy.
  • Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: Unlike Hop and Marnie, who are both confident but not condescending about their skill, Bede is incredibly arrogant and unpleasant, constantly bragging about his skill as a trainer and looking down on everyone around him as lesser.
  • Badass Fingersnap: In-battle, he snaps his fingers to give his Pokémon commands.
  • Bishōnen: He's something of a pretty boy, which becomes more evident after he becomes the new Ballonlea Gym Leader and loses his Dull Eyes of Unhappiness.
  • Born in the Wrong Century: If you defeat him during one of the post-game tournaments, he'll remark that he could've been the world's greatest trainer if he hadn't been born in the same time-period as you.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: He grew up in an orphanage where he constantly got into fights. Chairman Rose found him and gave Bede his first Pokémon.
  • Discard and Draw: After you beat him for the third time and he is forced to become the Fairy-type gym leader, he retires his Duosion and Gothorita and exchanges them for a Mawile and Gardevoir.
  • Dull Eyes of Unhappiness: His eyes sports these in his in-game model. Until he becomes the Fairy-type Gym Leader.
  • The Fair Folk: He's a Jerkass trainer who switches his type specialty to Fairy-types halfway through the game.
  • Foil:
    • To Hop — both are highly confident in their own abilities and their connections, but while Bede is just a smug Jerkass, Hop is at least friendly with the player character.
    • To Marnie — their attitudes towards the player are highly different from one another: Bede is a smug jerk, while Marnie is more level-headed and humble. They both specialize in one type (Bede with Psychic-types before switching to Fairy-types, Marnie with Dark-types). Even their hair colors are opposites (Bede has white hair, Marnie has black hair). As of post-game, both are successors to Gym Leaders. Interestingly, their Signature Mons are also foils of each other (Bede has Hatterene, Marnie has Grimmsnarl).
  • Graceful Loser: Surprisingly, he takes his loss towards you well during the league match. The audience just encourages him to train harder.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Towards you. He was jealous of the fact that you and you were endorsed by Leon and he wasn’t. It also helps that he never beat you in a battle.
  • Humiliation Conga: He goes through one hell of a rough time: firstly, the player's constant victories against him end up riling him so much that he destroys a (crummy-looking) piece of Galarian artwork to please his adoptive father figure Chairman Rose by collecting Wishing Stars (Oleana is said to be the one to tell him to do so), but he is caught in the act by Rose himself and stripped from doing the Gym Challenge, which was what Bede was living for as the culmination of years of wanting to pay back Rose for his kindness of sponsoring him and sending him to a trainer school years ago; secondly but easily the biggest, he wanders around sulking in Hammerlocke before he decided to ask for Rose to let him take the gym challenge again until, of all people, Opal decides to force him to become the newest Fairy-type Gym Leader to take her spot all because he was wearing pink clothing, though he at first is willing to let her do it since he's got nothing better to do and saw the chance to redeem himself by learning more about Wishing Stars...but is instead subjected to a harsh Fairy-type boot camp that ends up completely destroying what little sense of dignity he had in him to the point he ends up wearing the gaudy Gym Trainer outfit Opal employs for her Gym Trainers and changes his Psychic-type team to a Fairy-type team (which also has the side effect of him trying to show off his newly acquired mastery on the type). He, of course, blames the player for all of this on national TV, because he decided to bomb the Finals at Wyndon Stadium to vent his frustrations out on the player by challenging them there and then. And if all this wasn't even more humiliating, it turned out he gained fans...for when he bombed the Finals and eagerly expect him to do it again, much to his confusion.
  • Hypocrite: Admonishes Hop for using the performance of others as a statement of his own success without having anything to back it up. However, this is the same guy who constantly flaunts the fact that he was endorsed by the chairman in your face and believes he is better than every other Gym challenger not endorsed by Rose and maintains this attitude even after you defeat him multiple times.
  • I Let You Win: The first two times you defeat him, he gives this as an excuse for his loss. The trend breaks after the third time, with him declaring This Cannot Be!.
  • Insufferable Genius: Bede might be incredibly self-centered and narcissistic, but nobody can deny that he has skill to back up his claims.
  • I Owe You My Life: Chairman Rose by all rights adopted him.
  • Jerkass: Looks down on everyone around him, constantly calls you pathetic, acts like a Sore Loser when beaten, mocks Hop for losing to him in a battle, and demolishes a sacred memorial for some Wishing Stars that might not even be there. Yeah, this guy's a dick. Thankfully, he gets better by the end of the game.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: As cruel as his treatment towards Hop was, he was right when saying that Hop shouldn't expect himself to be all that powerful just because two people associated with him are. This is even lampshaded by Hop himself, who got dealt a Curb-Stomp Battle off-screen, proving that he really didn't have anything to show for it. After this, Hop stops referring to himself as the next Champion and even starts briefly experimenting with new team set-ups (barring his starter) after his battle with Bede.
  • Kick the Dog:
    • After beating Hop in a battle, he told Hop that he was weak and would only drag Leon’s name down. This got to Hop.
    • He attacks and destroys the mural in Stow-on-Side in his mad pursuit of Wishing Stars despite it being a historical site. Any discovery Sonia made based on what was on the other side had nothing to do with Bede or Rose's intentions.
  • Light Is Not Good: In contrast to Marnie, Bede is an Insufferable Genius who specializes in Psychic types, and then Fairy types later in the story.
  • Loser Leaves Town: He crashes the League and gambles his entire career on one last match with you. Subverted in that even though he loses, the crowd begs him to continue on as a trainer.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: Dishing out an off-screen Curb-Stomp Battle on Hop is what prompts Hop to lose his cocky attitude and reconsider both his talent as a trainer and ultimately his goals in life.
  • Nice, Mean, and In-Between: The Mean one of the three rivals. He's an arrogant kid who constantly talks down on his opponents and is the most antagonistic of the three.
  • Nice Shoes: It's a bit hard to see them, but he wears tabi-styled sneakers.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: In the postgame, he defeated three of the Dynamaxed Pokemon on his own.
  • Our Fairies Are Different: During the League, his entire team consists of Fairy-type Pokémon or Pokemon who learn Fairy-type moves.
  • Parental Abandonment: His first league card reveals that his family "ran into some trouble", with him ending up in an orphanage. It's not stated what exactly happened and if his family died, surrendered him, or abandoned him, but in any case he remains orphaned in the present.
  • Psychic Powers: All of his Pokemon early on are Psychic-types. While most of his team later on are still mostly Psychic-types, he then moves onto specializing in Fairy types instead, although some of them still keep their Psychic typing. It's telling that half his orginal team, Ponyta and Hatenna, gain the fairy type only on their final evolution.
  • Reality Ensues: As it turns out, vandalizing a historical landmark, even if it is a replica that looks crummy and hides a far cooler-looking landmark, is a really good way to get disqualified from a tournament and have your sponsorship revoked.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: Is a skilled trainer, and uses Pokemon like Gothita, Hatenna, and Galarian Ponyta. He also wears a pink/purple longcoat. After Opal offers him the position of Ballonlea Gym Leader, he starts wearing the pastel-tone Fairy Uniform - and becomes the first (and only so far) male Fairy-type specialist.
  • Signature Mon: The Hatenna line, his highest level Pokemon in all of his battles and the one he Gigantamaxes during the League. It's a Psychic type, fitting his specialty, and it gains the Fairy type as a Hatterene, which still fits his newly acquired Fairy type specialty later in the game.
  • A Sinister Clue: A Jerkass trainer who throws his Pokéballs with his left hand. His challenger band is also on his left wrist, fitting his Jerkass personality even further.
  • Smug Smiler: Of the Cat Smile variety. He also has an equally smug toothy grin.
  • Smug Snake: He's incredibly arrogant and cruel, even as you beat him into the ground time and time again.
  • Sore Loser: The first two times he's defeated, Bede flat-out refuses to admit that he lost fairly, claiming that he wasn't really trying. When he's defeated a third time, he goes so far as to demand a do-over and question how it's possible that he was beaten.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Between getting beaten by the player several times, getting his right to participate in the Gym Challenge revoked, and getting recruited by Opal to become the next Fairy-Type Gym Leader of the Ballonlea Gym, he eventually mellows out by the time you encounter him again at the Pokémon League. Even Bede questions why he's acting abnormally calm during his League battle.
  • Tsundere: A non-romantic one towards Opal. After she, forcibly, takes him under the ring and makes him her successor to the Ballonlea gym, Bede constantly complains about how she always bosses him around. Despite this, he actually does appreciate that she is seemingly the first adult to take a legitimate interest in leading him down the right path.
  • Undying Loyalty: To Chairman Rose, at first. He later gains this towards Opal.
  • White Hair, Black Heart: Has curly white hair and is an absolute jerk.
  • You Are in Command Now: Downplayed in the post-game, where Bede has taken over her Opal's position as the Ballonlea Gym Leader. However, Opal herself still maintains a constant presence in the stadium to continue mentoring her protége.

    Marnie (Mary) 

Marnie / Mary (マリィ marii)

The third rival in Sword and Shield. She has a competitive side, and together with her partner Morpeko, she seeks to become the Champion of the Galar region. Her calm and calculated battle style earned her many fans, with Team Yell being the most passionate among them.

  • Aloof Dark-Haired Girl: Black-haired, is generally level-headed and does not emote very much, even when she’s on the losing side. However, she’s actually nicer than how she appears to be.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Due to her new position, she wears the Dark Gym uniform in post-game tournaments and on her Rare League Card (she still has her usual outfit if rematched in Spikemuth, however).
  • Being Personal Isn't Professional: In contrast to Hop, who is friendly with the protagonist and Bede, who is more antagonistic, Marnie maintains a more impersonal relationship with the protagonist despite gaining an interest in them. Marnie slowly emotes, being both friendly and showing her frustration, as the game progresses.
  • Collared by Fashion: Wears a black choker with a pendant.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Despite her manner of dress, use of Dark-type Pokémon, and indirect affiliation with the region's villainous team, Marnie remains a down-to-earth character who ultimately develops a friendly rivalry with the player and comes to respect their skill, acting as the middle ground between Hop's enthusiastic friendship and Bede's arrogant aloofness.
  • Foil:
    • To Bede — their attitudes towards the player are highly different from one another: Bede is a smug jerk, while Marnie is more level-headed and humble. They both specialize in one type (Bede with Psychic-types before switching to Fairy-types, Marnie with Dark-types). Even their hair colors are opposites (Bede has white hair, Marnie has black hair). As of post-game, both are successors to Gym Leaders. Interestingly, their Signature Mons are also foils of each other (Bede has Hatterene, Marnie has Grimmsnarl).
    • To Hop — both have older brothers involved in the Pokémon League, but while Leon is the Champion and widely beloved, Piers is a lesser-known gym leader and the only one unable to use Dynamax in his battles. Additionally, Leon rarely interacts with the his brother in the story, while Piers does his best to help his sister on the Gym Challenge.
    • To the protagonist themselves — both are trainers who came from a small town and both are aiming to take the gym challenge. However, while the player joins along the ride of the gym challenge with their best friend, Hop, Marnie joins the gym challenge to be Champion and hoped to be able to do something to save her hometown. While Marnie is related to someone from the Pokémon League through her relationship with her brother Piers, the player is only related to Leon by proxy of being Hop's friend.
  • Goroawase Number: Has the number 960 on her uniform, which means Kuro (Black in Japanese).
  • Hair Decorations: Has twin ribbons in her hair.
  • Hell-Bent for Leather: She wears a studded leather jacket to go with her punk/Perky Goth-inspired fashion sense, though according to her design notes, it's actually fake leather.
  • Hidden Heart of Gold: Although "hidden" is probably a bit of an exaggeration. She's fairly quiet and carries herself a bit like a stoic or even cold person, but her interactions with the player show that Marnie is actually rather good-natured and friendly.
  • Horned Hairdo: The tops of her ponytails resemble double horns.
  • It Was a Gift: Her Morpeko was a gift from her older brother when she was five, which then kickstarted her career as a trainer.
  • The Last of These Is Not Like the Others: She specializes in Dark-types, but she also has a Poison/Fighting type Croagunk/Toxicroak.
  • Monster Brother, Cutie Sister: Only really in an aesthetic sense, as it's firmly subverted with the siblings' actual personalities. Marnie's appearance is certainly less intimidating compared to Piers, but both siblings are quite affable people.
  • Motor Mouth: Hinted at, particularly whenever she does a full "The Reason You Suck" Speech. One Team Yell grunt will even tell you that she scolded her own Morpeko for so long that it practically fell asleep.
  • Nice, Mean, and In-Between: The In-Between of the three rivals. While fairly good-natured and generally against Team Yell's attempts to cause a ruckus, she remains too stoic and goal-focused to be as buddy-buddy as Hop is to the player character.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: In the post-game, when she's caught practicing her smiles, coupled with the fact it's a rare time when she's visibly shocked for the player finding out.
  • Only Sane Woman: Everyone in Spikemuth is a bit... quirky (Team Yell and their constant obstructions on any other Gym Challenger, the Gym Leader (her brother) not doing much to stop Team Yell and being in a state of depression over the fact Spikemuth is on a crash course to being abandoned for lacking a Power Spot to Dynamax), but she's the only one with a clear head.
  • Oop North: Her dialogue is written to imply a Yorkshire accent. She has an accent in most versions of the game (the original Japanese has her speak in Hakata-ben, for instance), which is noted to be a charm point of hers on her rare League Card.
  • Perky Goth: Downplayed. Her fashion style has elements of this, as she wears a pink dress with ribbons in her hair, accented by a studded black (fake) leather jacket, a spiked necklace, and black nail polish. In terms of personality, while she's generally good-natured and her dialogue doesn't hide when she's happy, she's usually very stoic like a stereotypical Goth would be.
  • Poor, Predictable Rock: Averted. She packs a Croagunk that later evolves into a Toxicroak to counter opponents trying to sweep her with Fairy-types.
  • Rant-Inducing Slight: The one time she ever loses her temper is after Team Yell tries to block access to Spikemuth just to try and help Marnie. She's less than impressed, tearing into Team Yell over it.
  • Raven Hair, Ivory Skin: She has an entire fan club devoted to her look and later even her accent. In addition to having a stylish hairstyle to compliment her dark hair, her Dark Uniform also shows off the fact she has extremely fair skin - almost completely white, even compared to other light-skinned characters in the game like Melony.
  • Refusal of the Call: In the main storyline, Marnie bluntly tells Piers that she does not want to take over his gym. In the post-game, now that the Player Character is Champion, she is revealed to have relented and taken over Spikemuth Gym, having discovered in an earlier story event that she's a naturally gifted leader to its trainers.
  • Saving the Orphanage: Her original motivation and one of the main reasons all of Team Yell is behind her. Spikemuth is a shabby, run-down town, lacking a Stadium because it's not built on a Power Spot and thus has no real way to bring in business. With her hometown dying and her big brother in a bit of a depression thinking it's because he sucks at his job, she figured having the Champion there would be a good idea to improve the situation.
  • Shrinking Violet: One of her league cards reveal that she used to be timid as a child.
  • Signature Mon: Two of them.
    • Morpeko is presented as hers in her introductory trailer, it's the Pokemon that she has the most emotional attachment to and is always seen with her in the overworld. It is even her strongest Pokemon for her first two battles.
    • Late in the story she gains another one in the form of Grimmsnarl, who is not only her strongest Pokemon but the one that she Gigantimaxes during her League battles with the player character.
  • The Smurfette Principle: In Shield only, she is your only female rival.
  • Sugar-and-Ice Personality: While Marnie rarely shows emotion, she also displays a kind and helpful side to the player as the story progresses. She’s genuinely supportive towards Piers as well.
  • Starter Mon: Morpeko is hers, given to her when she was five by her brother.
  • The Stoic: Marnie is not a very emotive person. Her demeanor is always calm, her expressions are extremely mild even in moments where everyone else in the game let themselves go (like Dynamaxing or losing a match), and her first League Card is just the default design with no pose whatsoever. Even her attempt at cheerleading at one point is fairly subdued (but effective). She essentially has two big displays of emotion in the whole game: an optional scene in the Budew Drop Inn where she tries to practice smiling to her supporters more often (only to freak out when she realizes you were watching), and when she explodes at Team Yell after finding out they're the ones who locked Spikemuth's entrance.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: When she discovers Team Yell locked the way to Spikemuth out of paranoia, she loses her temper for the first and only time, going into a full "The Reason You Suck" Speech that convinces them to finally stop being a hassle to her rivals.
  • You Are in Command Now: In the post-game, Marnie has taken over her brother's position as the Spikemuth Gym Leader.
  • You Fight Like a Cow: Perhaps showing how she's grown more comfortable around the player in the post-game, if you turn down her offer for a rematch in Spikemuth, she'll playfully taunt you saying you might be scared to face her since you're on her home turf.

    Klara (Kurara) 

Klara / Kurara (クララ kurara)

The fourth rival, exclusive to the Sword Expansion Pass. Klara will train besides the player character at Mustard's dojo on the Isle of Armor. She’ll make herself look adorable and cute, as she admires popularity very much. Even though she is often seen smiling, there is a calculating nature behind it.

  • Beauty Mark: Has one just below her lower lip.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: She first popped up in a free update event in Wedgehurst, where she watches you catch a Galarian Slowpoke.
  • Fashionable Asymmetry: Her left sock is green and her right sock is purple.
  • Hair Decorations: The ribbon behind her head resembles a Dustox, which fits with her Poison-type specialty.
  • Goroawase Number: 881, which means "yabai" (dangerous).
  • Poisonous Person: She uses Poison-types.
  • Pretty in Mink: She wears a cute fur coat over her Gym uniform.
  • Zettai Ryouiki: She wears a standard female Poison Gym uniform, which features short shorts and thigh-high socks.

    Avery (Savory) 

Avery / Savory (セイボリー seiborii)

The fourth rival, exclusive to the Shield Expansion Pass. Avery will train besides the player character at Mustard's dojo on the Isle of Armor. He acts like a well-mannered gentleman, but is also very proud.

  • Bishōnen: His long hair and pretty looks make him resemble a woman.
  • Classy Cravat: A black one adorns his neck, although it clashes somewhat with his psychedelic psychic gym uniform.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: He first popped up in a free update event in Wedgehurst, where he watches you catch a Galarian Slowpoke.
  • Goroawase Number: 026, which means "otsumu" (brain).
  • Mind over Matter: He trains Psychic-types and has psychic powers as well, having his Pokéballs orbit around his hat.
  • Nice Hat: He sports a tall top hat.


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