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Chevalier vs. Rogue

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Rogue (l) vs. Chevalier (r): Place your bets!

This trope is about two characters or factions that antagonize each other. The specific relationship the two of them share can vary from mere rivalry, to being sworn enemies, to just being complete opposites, but the point is that they are pretty much Foils to each other, and most likely to not be in a good relationship. Typically, their archetypes use the following rules:

This trope is seen in many cultures and settings: in Japan, we have Samurai (Chevaliers) and Ninjas (Rogues); if magic is present in the setting, Chevaliers will often be an Anti-Magical Faction (though exceptions do exist) and Rogues are more likely than the Chevaliers to have access to mystic abilities; in nautical settings, the Rogues may be Pirates and the Chevaliers are the Navy, and so on.

Sub-trope of Cool vs. Awesome and Order vs. Chaos. Compare Samurai in Ninja Town; Knight, Knave, and Squire; Force and Finesse; Soldier vs. Warrior; Health/Damage Asymmetry; Arrogant God vs. Raging Monster. Contrast Pirates vs. Ninjas.

See also Noble Male, Roguish Male, in which the Chevalier and the Rogue are on the same side instead of fighting against each other and Samurai Shinobi, in which the Samurai (Chevalier) and Ninja (Rogue) are combined into one by one character.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Berserk: First as friends, Griffith and Guts were the stereotypes of the Chevalier and the Rogue, respectively. After Guts left the Band of the Falcon, Griffith betrays his group and becomes one with the darkness converting into Femto, a a charismatic knightly villain seen as a hero by all but the few who know of his true nature opposed to the roguish Guts.
  • Averted in Kirby: Right Back at Ya!. In one episode, Meta Knight mentions that the ninjas were just as responsible as the knights for defending the world against the army of monsters.
  • One Piece: In general, the pirates are the rogues, and the Marines are the chevaliers who're trying to stop the pirates. Their morality, however, can be all over the place.
  • From Samurai Champloo, we have Jin as the Chevalier who exemplifies the values of the Samurai but hasn't found any worthy lord and uses an orthodox fighting style and Mugen as the Rogue who used to be a pirate, is a Blood Knight, and uses a self-taught Confusion Fu style derived from breakdancing. The two may be forced to work together by Fuu, but are nonetheless rivals who have sworn to have a duel to the death when their journey is over.

    Comic Books 
  • In some comics, Captain America and Bucky have this dynamic: Cap is the honorable one, while Bucky does the dirty work Cap can't be seen doing (and/or would refuse to do). Not to mention when they fight against each other (as Winter Soldier for the latter).

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Pirates of the Caribbean film series fit this trope if they're paired with naval law enforcers/troops, i.e the navy. Pirates being rogue, navy being chevalier.
  • Six String Samurai pits the Samurai Cowboy protagonist Buddy against Death (who looks like Slash). The former doesn't have much of a code of honour per se, but he does get upset over killing a fairly young challenger, reluctantly adopts a young orphan, and fights head on. Meanwhile, Death mainly relies on letting his three minions shoot his targets (and isn't above taking a Kid Sidekick hostage to force the hero to surrender).

  • The Belgariad: In the backstory, Arendia spent centuries mired in a bloody civil war between the knights of Vo Mimbre and the rogues of Vo Astur.
  • The Lord of the Rings: While both sides have rogues and knights, the good guys specifically choose to use their rogues to oppose the enemy's knights, and their knights to oppose the enemy's rogues. The Ringwraiths are very much evil knights, opposed and defeated by sneaky hobbits, Submissive Badass Glórfindel and Wholesome Crossdresser Éowyn. Gandalf and the Rohirrim are very much good knights, opposed by the conniving Wormtongue and cunning Saruman. Also very much true in a meta sense: with the apparently disorganized and rag-tag good guys being opposed by the apparently highly disciplined bad guys. Though partway through the story, this starts to become less true as everyone starts to rally around Aragorn while the bad guys end up having to split their forces. The elves with their commitment to free will, and general stubbornness are what would come to be described as Chaotic: while Sauron with his desire to rule and bind people is what would come to be described as Lawful. Though the tropes are, in this work, a little bit unbuilt.

    Live-Action TV 

    Video Games 
  • Assassin's Creed has it as its central concept, featuring a secret conflict between the Assassins and the oppressive Templars. Though the rule truly applies mostly in the first game; by the time of the next games, the Templars have become almost as shadowy as the Assassins.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • Subverted in Morrowind by the conflict between the Fighters Guild and the Thieves' Guild. On the surface, the Fighters Guild is the Chevalier, favoring heavily armed and armored warriors who are legally chartered by the Empire to provide services and training of the martial persuasion to the citizenry. The Thieves Guild is the Rogue, favoring light armor, stealth, short bladed weapons, and illegal/deceptive skills like lockpicking and pickpocketing. However, the leadership of the Fighters Guild is in the pocket of the Camonna Tong, the mafia-esque native Dunmeri criminal syndicate responsible for Morrowind's illegal drug, slave, and smuggling trades. Meanwhile, the Thieves Guild is led by an honorable Gentleman Thief who preaches a Just Like Robinhood philosophy and sees murder as a last resort. When completing either questline, you'll have to deal with the Fighters Guild's corrupt leadership, restoring the Fighters Guild's full "Chevalier" characterization but removing the friction between the factions.
    • In Oblivion, the specifically evil playable faction is the Dark Brotherhood (assassin/ninja) and the specifically good one is Knights of the Nine (knight/paladin). The rest of the playable factions are more or less neutral and can be played by both good and evil characters.
  • Zidane and Steiner from Final Fantasy IX. Zidane is a professional thief and member of Tantalus, a thieves guild posing as a travelling theatre troupe, while Steiner is leader of the Knights of Pluto and responsible for the safety of the Alexandrian Royal Family. The two come into conflict when Tantalus attempts to kidnap Princess Garnet, but eventually agree to work together for the sake of the Princess' safety.
  • Metal Gear:
    • In Metal Gear Solid, Snake is the 'ninja' (ironically enough) to the 'knight' Cyborg Ninja (AKA, his old Friendly Enemy Grey Fox). The latter wears a suit of Powered Armour, slaughters his way through scores of enemies, and follows a strict code of honour (if you use your fists in the boss fight with him, he'll likewise discard his sword). Meanwhile, Snake sneaks around everywhere and is forced to hide if he's caught.
    • The above is echoed in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty. Raiden is the one who has been sneaking around everywhere and hiding when he's caught. Meanwhile, the Big Bad, Solidus Snake, has Powered Armor, Combat Tentacles, is a Defector from Decadence and (at least according to his own Motive Rants) a Well-Intentioned Extremist seeking to free the world from an Omniscient Council of Vagueness called The Patriots — excuse me, "the La-Li-Lu-Le-Lo". For added bonus, the duel is a Sword Fight between Raiden, wielding a straight-bladed and single-edged ninjatō, while Solidus wields the samurai daishō pairing of katana and wakizashi.
    • In Metal Gear Rising Raiden actually is a ninja (a cyborg ninja, in fact). The Rival, Jetstream Sam, is essentially a cyborg samurai (he even fights with a High Frequency Blade made from his father's antique katana). Bonus points for the fact that Raiden started the game talking about his admiration for Bushido (the samurai's code of honour) but had started to abandon it and embrace traits of his Jack the Ripper persona by that point.
  • Neverwinter Nights 2: On arriving in Neverwinter, the Player Character must choose to join the Neverwinter City Watch, or the local thieves' guild, leading to membership in the Shadow Thieves.
  • Introduced in the fifth generation of Pokémon, rival Bug-type Pokémon Accelgor and Escavalier invoke the aesthetic of this trope; the former resembling a ninja (the Rogue) and the latter a jousting knight (the Chevalier).
  • Rhythm Thief & the Emperor's Treasure: A Phantom Thief protagonist and a villain with Chevaliers.
  • One Asymmetric Multiplayer mode in some of the Splinter Cell games pits a team of agile, stealthy, but fragile agents against a team of heavily armored and armed but not particularly mobile mercenaries.
  • One of the main conflicts throughout Tales of Vesperia and its prequel movie First Strike is the relationship between Yuri Lowell, our Lovable Rogue, and his Childhood Friend: the Ideal Hero, Flynn.
  • Tyranny has the regimented, orderly, and fanatical Disfavored contrasted with the mob-like Scarlet Chorus who live by Asskicking Leads to Leadership. Although they are technically on the same side, they loathe each other and eventually descend into outright civil war.

    Visual Novels 
  • Wicked Lawless Love: Cecelia is an officer of the law, and the heroine an outlaw, which complicates their relationship and causes conflict between them.
    (A thief and a Warden, a flint and tinder—good for a conflagration, but not much else.)

    Web Original 
  • In the world of Metamor Keep, the southern continent is dominated by two rival sects, the Sondeckis and the Kankorans. However, both sides believe that they are the chevaliers and the other are the rogues, as they disagree whether "order" comes from law, or from a natural order. Both sides avoid heavy armor and direct combat; however, Sondeckis tend to swear allegiances and fight for honor, while Kankorans are open to anyone with the highest offer. The trope is played more straight at the Keep itself, with Charles the Sondeckis and Rickkter the Kankoran (and a Combat Pragmatist to boot).

    Western Animation