Serve right and justice one last time.
Seek one last heart of evil, still one last life of pain.
Cut well, old friend, and then... farewell."
The medieval knight who fights baddies, whether villains, knights or dragons, and in The Tourney, charms ladies without deliberately seducing them, behaves honorably, and saves the day with his sword; but also, any hero who behaves similarly. Invariably Lawful Good and honor bound. First appeared in the Chivalric Romance. He has a very high incidence of having a Bodyguard Crush and Rescue Romance.
Historical knights were first and foremost professional soldiers. They usually were of Blue Blood — or, if commoner-born, founders of a new noble family. note Their modus operandi was lance-armed heavy cavalry, which charged the enemy in full gallop on closed ranks. They often were used dismounted as well, when they fought as heavy infantry, usually armed with enormous can-openers such as poleaxes or two-handed swords.
A cultural trope in Europe since medieval times, most good knights practice something called chivalry, Honor, and Self-Control and occasionally chastity. Prone to rescuing the Damsel in Distress, or delivering her from false accusations, often whilst bearing The Lady's Favour. The Knight in Shining Armor was a frequent carrier of The Dulcinea Effect: medieval Chivalric Romances, indeed, portrayed knights who fell in love with a princesse lointaine merely on hearing her described, without even seeing her - though his love and heroism usually won her heart. Another occupational hazard is Chronic Hero Syndrome, Knights Errant being charged to Walk the Earth righting wrongs until a worthy quest shows up. Oh, and he will Save the Princess, usually from dragons.
This is often invoked to describe a man who acts chivalrously toward women. The term may be used in more cynical works to indicate a Wide-Eyed Idealist. Even the Ur-Example of the straight usage of trope, King Arthur, messed around with it a lot. The one-two punch of Disney and Dungeons & Dragons saw this trope's stock rise like crazy.
The "shining" originally referred to the way his armor and weapons were kept in good condition, as opposed to the rust that accumulated for less competent knights. Most knights will be depicted wearing plate armor, despite it appearing relatively late in the era of knights.
See Lord Error-Prone and Miles Gloriosus for common variations, played with tropes, and parodies and Knight In Sour Armor for what happens when the world fails to live up to their standards, but they keep on being good anyway. If the knight is too dedicated to his ideals and code, he may become a Knight Templar. If he likes fighting a bit too much, he is in danger of becoming a Blood Knight. A knight who is shiny for one person in particular is The Champion. A knight that gets magical powers as a reward for this goodness is almost certainly The Paladin to boot.
If the Knight in Shining Armor wanders the land seeking evil to slay, then he's also a Knight Errant.
An Officer and a Gentleman is the modern version of this trope — very often even their direct genetic descendants as old noble families are grossly over-represented in all military academies around the world. With the notable exception of America, of course.
Before adding examples, remember that—despite the name—this trope doesn't necessarily have anything to do with a character's armor or its color. A well-behaved knight in black armor or even no armor could still qualify, and a character who just wears shiny armor without behaving in a heroic manner is not an example.
- The propaganda painting "Der Bannerträger" ("The Standard Bearer"; painted c. 1935; first exhibited in 1937) by Hubert Lanzinger shows Adolf Hitler as a knight in (literally) shining armor on horseback, his right hand holding the billowing swastika flag of the Nazi Party / the Third Reich. The image was frequently reproduced in Nazi Germany, including as a postcard.
- The Skull Knight doesn't do a lot of lady-charming, preferring to act as a Mysterious Protector to Guts and Casca, but he's perhaps the closest thing so far to a Knight in Shining Armor in the Berserk universe, particularly when he saves Guts and Casca from being finished off by Femto (Griffith's Godhand self) and the Godhand at the end of the Eclipse. Fan rumor is rampant that the guy is Emperor Gaiseric, the guy who unified Midland, who may have gone through a similar ordeal when Void was incarnated as a Godhand, explaining his stone-cold hate for the Godhand in general. And the guy is a complete badass to boot.
- Griffith, aside from leading a pack of mercenaries, fits during the Golden Age arc
- Azan the Bridge Knight has a heroic disposition and combat competence despite his advanced age.
- Uryū Ishida in Bleach is an Archer in Shining Armor. Very chivalrous and generally well mannered, has a weak spot for women, especially Orihime, also tried to protect Rukia when she was powerless and even spared the life of his female opponent, mercy he doesn't show to others of her kind. Contrary to his popular image he is also one of the most capable leading characters in the series, having fought tough opponents and held his own against enemies far stronger than himself. The Quincy, people of whom he is supposedly Last of His Kind. also had a medieval Christian knight theme given to them by the author.
- Code Geass:
- Kururugi Suzaku subverts it; he initially seems like the perfect knight, but his attitude is formed partly by his own inherent idealism towards helping people and not letting the ends justify the means — a problem, to say the least, in an alternate Japan occupied by Britannia that is also a site for several violent armed rebellions — and partly by the repressed knowledge that he himself is guilty of the very thing he loathes by killing his own father at the age of 10 to make Japan surrender and keep it from becoming a permanent war zone. His lack of punishment for having done it drove him into becoming a Death Seeker that wants to die serving his ideals. Having acknowledged the memories fully halfway through the season, he freely admits to being selfish, hypocritical, and, in his own words, "despicable".
- Xing-ke plays the trope straight; an honorable and badass swordsman devoted body and soul to his empress. On the Britannian side, Gilbert G.P. Guilford is this for his own princess.
- Ame from Denpa Teki na Kanojo claims to have been this to Juu in a past life, and wants to continue this role in the present. Her taser works just as well as a sword would.
- Digimon: There is a large group of Digimon called the "Royal Knights". As the name would suggest, they are a group of thirteen Mega-level Digimon who all resemble a cross between a classic Knight and a mecha. They are supposedly a group of "good guys" who work for the God of the Digital World, but every one of their appearances so far has introduced them as antagonists of the Knight Templar or brainwashed variety. They're not all-exclusive to the group, though. A few of them have been partners to human characters in the series: Tai and Matt's Omnimon, and Takato/Guilmon as Gallantmon are two good examples. These ones weren't actual members of the Royal Knights, though— they were just the same "species".
- Tamahome from Fushigi Yuugi. Hotohori wants to be this to the Priestess, but Miaka is more interested in Tamahome.
- Alucard is this to young Integra in Hellsing when he saved her and is still her loyal bodyguard after she grew up.
- Katekyō Hitman Reborn! mentions this trope verbatim; with the way that Tsuna is constantly afflicted with the Dulcinea Effect, the current Arc's Big Bad Byakuran even lampshades this by mocking Tsuna, asking him if he's trying to be Uni's knight in shining armor.
- Mist from Knights does his best at this despite being a Hero with Bad Publicity, as well as being just a squire. He fits the trope better than all the other knights thus far.
- Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha has a female example in Signum.
- Monster has the female heroine, Nina Fortner, fantasize that her secret admirer must be her "prince on a white horse." When she is rescued by Tenma, she assumes the latter must be him. In reality, the anonymous "romantic" emails that have been sent to her were from her twin brother Johan.
- In My Monster Secret the main characters' teacher Akari Koumoto has been holding onto the "prince on a white horse" fantasy for years, well into her Christmas Cake phase; though it's Played for Laughs like everything in the series, it's also seriously examined, since it's strongly implied that the entire reason Akari has never been in a relationship is because she's convinced herself that True Love will just fall into her lap one day so she doesn't actually need to do anything. On the other hand, the reason she has this particular fantasy in the first place is because as a child she'd always been either made fun of or treated like One of the Boys due to her unnatural strength and height, and she just wants a man will treat her like a feminine woman rather than being scared of her.
- Mytho from Princess Tutu, in his true form as the Prince from the fairytale the story revolves around, fits this trope almost perfectly (except he has no armor and rescues maidens while dancing on a magically formed pillar of flower petals). Also subverted with Fakir, who is the reincarnation of the Knight from the story but doesn't behave like the stereotypical knight.
- Sayaka from Puella Magi Madoka Magica aspires to be this - her love interest in this case is Kyousuke, who used to play the violin until his hand was badly injured in an accident. When she contracts to become a Magical Girl, her outfit (of the magical girls we see in the series, hers is the only one with a cape) and weapon of choice (swords) reflect this goal. In a series written by Gen Urobuchi, this quickly leads to tragedy. In a horrific twist, her Witch form, Oktavia von Seckendorff also reflects this by donning a knight armor, a three-eyed helmet, and a heart-shaped cape, symbolizing how her madness thoroughly corrupted her ideals.
- Annelotte Kreutz from Queen's Blade Rebellion is a noble knight with a strong sense of justice.
- The eponymous Revolutionary Girl Utena aspires to be this, initially entering the plot to avenge the honor of a friend and staying to Rescue The Princess. But was that really such a good idea? The idea is gender-flipped, subverted, deconstructed, and reconstructed throughout the series.
- Mika of Seraph of the End is affectionately dubbed as being this for Yuu given his constant Declaration of Protection about him, desire to save him above all else, and occasionally getting to carry him in a Bridal Carry. Ferid even refers to Yuu as the precious princess that Mika wants to save and likens it to "love".
- Slayers parodies this, and the Prince Charming idea. Both Lina and Sylphiel have an image of a prince, noble, heroic, handsome, blond, clad in white, riding on a white charger. Then they meet Amelia's father, Phil, who technically fits almost all the requirements (except the blond hair and he is not handsome), but shatters Sylphiel's fantasy of a prince into tiny little pieces. Literally shatters. A piece of Lina's actually bonks her on the head.
- Snow White with the Red Hair: Mitsuhide Lowen is a knight, kind man and excellent swordsman who is completely loyal to prince Zen who he is a retainer for. He also attracts a number of female admirers due to his personality and looks but avoids romance both through obliviousness and his dedication to his job as Zen's protector. Zen's other initial retainer Kiki Serian reflects this trope as well, though her stoic unreadable nature and the fact that she will have to give up living as a just a knight to take over as head of her family makes her an interesting take.
- Amati of Spice and Wolf is actually a very successful merchant, but he offers a not-so-small fortune to alleviate the debts of the pagan wolf deity/traveling nun Horo, and rescue her from Lawrence. He'd only seen her twice when he made the decision, and he presents his intention with a written contract and a proclamation in front of a small crowd. Horo points out he's not really in love with her, so much as the idea of rescuing a beautiful Damsel in Distress in a knightly way.
- Strawberry Panic! has another female example with Amane Ohtori, the "Prince of Spica", who rides a white horse named "Star Bride", and even pulls off a knightly horseback rescue at one point.
- Tis Time for "Torture," Princess: A semi-recurring character is the knight Louch Brittan, who's doing his best to rescue the Princess. He... doesn't really live up to the image, being rather below-average in terms of looks. He does indeed mean well, though, and he only really fails because each "rescue" is performed in a way that makes the Princess not want to be saved by him. For example, she rejects his attempt to use a teleportation spell because you Can't Take Anything with You and she would be left nude on the other side.
- Allen Schezar of The Vision of Escaflowne is this from start to finish. He always does the right thing, even when it hurts. Plus, his armor is a Humongous Mecha.
- In Yu-Gi-Oh!: Capsule Monsters, Yami is this in Episode 10, using Black Luster Soldier as armor and wielding the Sword of Divinity.
- In Magic: The Gathering, this is generally White's shtick. Though depending on the setting, it might range from anything from classical heroic knights to insidious fanatics and other deconstructions.
- The White Knight, polar opposite of the game's Black Knight. However, game mechanics normally prevent the two from engaging each other in combat...
- The Shards of Alara expansion features Bant, a plane of Knights in Shining Armor, who have a Fantastic Caste System based on the acquisition of sigils, which are marks of great valor and honorable conduct.
- Innistrad has cathars, which generally dress up in trenchcoats but occasionally show up in more classically medieval armor.
- Ixalan has a rare mesoamerican version, riding dinosaurs.
- Parodied in Chivalrous Chevalier:
- By day Ghostrick Dullahan masquerades as a suit of antique armor, but at night he shows his true colors as a veteran knight, acting as a leader figure for the other residents of the museum.
- Another good example would be Freed the Brave Wanderer (who would later become Freed the Matchless General). His appearance as a Duel Spirit in the anime shows his Heroic Spirit rather plainly.
- The Gem-Knights, with the sole exception of Antiluminescent Knight Cairnogorgon. They only got involved in the storyline's battles after repeated attacks.
- Antoine D'Coolette eventually grows into this in Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog. He's very chivalrous and proper and an expert swordsman. This culminates in issue 234 where he grapples with Metal Sonic and nearly dies all in the name of service to the king.
- The Black Knight from The Avengers is a literal one, though the first one was a villain. Black Knight II, however, plays it straight.
- Though he may not be called a 'knight', Captain America is as much a pure example of this trope as modern jaded audiences can stand. His classic outfit includes maille or scales on the upper portion, he carries a shield, and a modern Captain owes much to the role of a knight in leading his troops. In behaviour? No more noble or righteous 'knight' exists in the Marvel Universe - Ultimate Cap excepted, of course.
- Captain Atom: Captain Atom's daughter Margaret sees him this way. He eventually becomes one.
- Johan, the protagonist of the Belgian comic book series De Rode Ridder.
- Seven Soldiers: Both Shining Knights of the Seven Soldiers of Victory.
- In Marvel Comics' outer space stories, the Spaceknights of Galador also aspire to this ideal, but arguably only Rom ever truly achieved it. One story even has Rom encounter the frozen form of King Arthur, still waiting for the day he will reawaken to save Britain from some future calamity, and Rom feels an instant, instinctive kinship with him.
- The titular character from Steel wears a cape and shining armor, wields a weapon, and is as moral and good as Superman himself.
- DC Comics also had the Silent Knight, a more traditional knight than the Shining Knight, and his adventures took place at King Arthur's Camelot. And in a post-nuclear war apocalypse, there were the Atomic Knights who were heroic individuals who wore plate armour to protect them from radioactive fallout (though in more contemporary comics, the Atomic Knights are a faction of Powered Armour soldiers).
- In Frank and Ernest, Frank, as a knight, complains of having to dress on a cold morning.
- In one Garfield comic strip, Jon gets freaked out by a scary part in the movie theater and starts sucking his thumb. Liz sarcastically mutters, "My knight in shining armor", and Garfield replies, "Make that your sissy in double-knit."
- The Hunchback of Notre Dame: Phoebus is more of this than his counterpart in the source material, being less prejudiced and willing to defy orders from a corrupt judge to rescue a family from a burning house.
- Sleeping Beauty: The climax is a battle with Prince Philip up against Maleficent to save Princess Aurora.
- Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: At the end of the movie, a prince arrived to take Snow White away on his white horse.
- Tangled has Flynn Rider gallantly racing on the white Maximus over the bridge to rescue lost princess Rapunzel, which is not only a visual shout-out to this trope, but symbolic of his Character Development from a selfish, thieving rogue to something closer to this trope.
- Enchanted begins with Prince Edward saving Giselle from a troll, resulting in their planning to get married the next day.
- The Flight of Dragons: Sir Orrin Neville-Smythe is a classic example of this; the aged, but steadfast and noble knight dedicated wholly to justice. The page quote comes from the final battle; Sir Orrin gets set on fire by Bryagh's flame. He withstands the heat long enough to hurl the now-flaming sword into the heart of the black dragon, then collapses next to his fallen love.
- My Little Pony: Equestria Girls: Flash Sentry. The human version that's the closest thing to a Love Interest for one of the Mane Six has a counterpart in Equestria, it turns out — the pony Flash is a member of the Crystal Empire' royal guard — the only one we've seen who isn't a Crystal Pony. He gets more screentime — well, page time — in the comics.
- As Shrek 2 opens, Prince Charming has adventured, overcoming many obstacles and climbing the high tower in order to rescue Fiona, finding instead a cross-dressing wolf. It turns out that there was an old promise that Charming would be able to marry Fiona, but Fiona has already married Shrek in the first movie. It's later subverted when he reveals himself to be a snobby, narcissistic, sociopathic jerk.
- The Swan Princess: After Princess Odette is kidnapped, Prince Derek becomes determined to find her. Once he does, he plans to break the spell on her by making a vow of everlasting love.
- Gotham's White Knight, District Attorney Harvey Dent in The Dark Knight is trying to help bring down the criminal empire in Gotham. Sadly, he ends up turning into the demented Two-Face after a horrific accident that disfigures half of his face.
- In Ella Enchanted Prince Charmont gallantly saves Ella's life exactly three times, first from a speeding carriage, second from an ogre's boiling pot and then despite himself he has her back in the court battle.
- At the end of Ever After when Prince Henry shows up to rescue Danielle from Pierri Le Pieu.
- John Boorman's Excalibur takes this pretty literally with Lancelot. In his first scene, his armor is buffed almost to a mirror finish. Lancelot's not the only one, however; all the knights seem to wear highly polished - and sharp edged - armor everywhere including bed. Including when they are entertaining company of the feminine kind. Oddly the women don't seem to mind. Maybe it's a fetish.
- The eponymous Leopold of Kate & Leopold is a nobleman from 1876, swept into modern times, who believes that Kate requires a chaperone on her date with her boss so he offers to go with her to protect her from his obvious intentions. When she refuses, he tells her boss, "Some feel that to court a woman in one's employ is nothing more than a serpentine effort to transform a lady to a whore." Imagine the look on a purse-snatcher's face when Leo rides him down on horseback.
Leopold: I warn you scoundrel, I was trained at the King's Academy and schooled in weaponry by the palace guard. You stand no chance. When you run, I shall ride, when you stop, the steel of this strap shall be lodged in your brain.
[bag snatcher throws down the bag and flees, onlookers applaud]
- William Thatcher in A Knight's Tale is determined to not only be a knight when he is in fact a peasant but to defeat his jousting opponents and win London's World Championship.
- When Vivian of Pretty Woman was a little girl, she would pretend she was a princess... trapped in a tower by a wicked queen. And then suddenly this knight... on a white horse with these colors flying would come charging up and draw his sword. And she would wave. And he would climb up the tower and rescue her.
- Prince Charming, a 2001 made-for-television film starring Sean Maguire, is the story of a prince who gets turned into a frog because he dashingly rescues a damsel in distress who starts trying to reward him.
- The titular protagonist of the RoboCop series is one modern example, though replace "shining" with "Kevlar/Titanium laminated", with nifty purple-on-blue highlights to boot. Despite his almost completely mechanical appearance, he will always uphold the law even if he has to do it by the book.
- Star Wars:
- Jedi in general are a mix between (highly idealized versions of) knights and samurai. However, how much "knight" and how much "samurai" actually varies between cultures. Corellian Jedi, according to The Essential Guide to Warfare and Star Wars: The Old Republic, are actually a lot closer to European knights than the mainline Jedi, being descended directly from those who swore oaths of fealty to a Jedi Lord during the darkest days of the New Sith Wars. They're noted for being very inflexible about the law and justice.
- Jedi Knights in general are also supposed to be this (the word 'knight' is in their name after all) but as noted in the trope description, this is an ideal that not every member always lives up to. That being said, Jedi Knight Qui-Gon Jinn in The Phantom Menace will defy the council to to help supposedly "pathetic" life forms.
- In Time Bandits, knights appear in Kevin's bedroom. Then, at the end, one of the sets of champions the dwarfs bring to fight Evil is a group of knights.
- Tristan and Isolde has the titular British knight, Tristan, who is in love with the fair Isolde.
- St. George in the medieval legend of St. George and the Dragon kills a dragon, thereby saving a virginal princess, and aferwards refuses all material rewards but instead converts the locals to Christianity. Thus St. George the Dragonslayer embodies the ideal knight, as he is both an undaunted warrior and a saint who dedicates his martial prowess to helping the helpless and the promotion of Christianity.
- In The Golden Crab, the king tries to have The Tourney to substitute a bridegroom for the crab his daughter married. Three times the crab-husband shows up in human guise to fight.
- In Iron Hans, the prince dresses up in armor to fight on the king's behalf. Then he does the same to catch the princess's golden apple.
- In "The Princess on the Glass Hill", Boots finds suits of armor with each Cool Horse, and so can ride up the hill as a knight.
- The Knights of Khryl in The Acts of Caine have this reputation as an order, which makes it all the more depressing in that their membership consists of individuals who either count as this, or Knight Templar. Caine Black Knife reveals that Caine himself has a secret admiration for the Knights and their most exemplary members that dates back to the stories he enjoyed as a child (which is ironic since Caine is a Combat Pragmatist and the Knights' code of honour is a primary cause behind how he spends most of the novel kicking their asses).
- There are occasional references to upstanding men as this trope in the Aunt Dimity series, especially when they demonstrate their goodness openly. Also, among Lori and Bill's wedding gifts is a portrait of Bill on horseback and wearing armour—and his glasses.
- Sir Mandorallen from David Eddings's The Belgariad saga (and its sequel, the Malloreon saga) is a textbook example of the Knight in Shining Armor; he embodies this trope, both outwardly and inwardly. Complete with a tragic chivalric love-from-afar affair. Eddings lampshaded the heck out of the trope, though: Mandorallen is heroic, brave and fearless, unbeaten in combat, honorable, truthful, and so on and so on. The first time in his life that he suddenly felt real fear (when he faced a magical opponent that he couldn't defeat) let to a kind of nervous breakdown, a self-doubt of epic proportions during which Mandorallen developed phobophobia, a paralyzing fear of being afraid. He eventually got over it, with the help of his friends. The other characters routinely tended to poke gentle fun of Mandorallen's utter dedication to chivalry. People who met him for the first time kept asking "Is this guy for real?" and "Did he really just charge the enemy? He's going to die!" — "No he isn't. He's Mandorallen." Everything you need to know about Mandorallen is summed up in this exchange from Castle of Wizardry, wherein Mandorallen is escorting the Rivan Queen out to the center of a field to address over fifty thousand heavily-armed, potentially hostile soldiers during a very tense diplomatic stand-off. It's important to note that Mandorallen is speaking here with absolutely no irony whatsoever:
Mandorallen: We are some distance from our own forces, your Majesty. I pray thee, be moderate in thine address. Even I might experience some difficulty in facing the massed legions of all Tolnedra.
- In Patricia A. McKillip's The Bell at Sealey Head, Princess Ysabo's home also has many knights, and part of her prescribed ritual is to perform certain services for them, filling cups with wine. She is told she must marry one, and when she asks why, the knight hits her. However, this turns out to be a false knight, not even human. The crows she feeds every day as part of the ritual are in fact the true knights, and when restored, they behave in a much more knightly manner.
- Bolo: The eponymous supertanks of Keith Laumer's series are intentionally programmed with this notion in mind.
- A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court was written as a scathing Take That! at this trope (among other things), portraying the knights as little more than wandering bullies who picked fights with each other for no reason. The tales of their heroic deeds are entirely fabricated (and absurd on their faces, leading the main character to marvel at how nobody picks up on the Antarctica-level Fridge Logic), and the story features a lengthy description of how uncomfortable the main character is when he is put in his own shiny armor to go on his own quest. And still, in some of the final chapters, in which Camelot falls apart all around, the admirable knightly Lancelot of the original Arthurian canon several times visibly breaks through Twain's cynicism.
- In John C. Wright's Count to the Eschaton series, The Hermetic Millennia has the frozen Knights Hospitallar wake when the Tombs need protection.
- Anthony Woodville is portrayed as this in Philippa Gregory's The Cousins' War Series. While Anthony is a genuinely good man who really does fit this trope, he's often dragged down by the turmoil, the conflict-ridden surroundings, and the far less upstanding people around him.
- Darwin's Soldiers: Sir William is an English knight.
- The Deed of Paksenarrion: Played straight with the eponymous character in the trilogy by Elizabeth Moon. Paks is intentionally designed to be a Paladin from Dungeons & Dragons (see below), written after seeing so many Lawful Stupid Paladins at conventions. Also literally true: the armor worn by paladins will gradually become more lustrous whether or not they actively polish it. The gods have decreed that paladins imply shining armor.
- In Discworld, Carrot Ironfounderson is an urbanized version, right down to the well-polished City Watch breastplate.
- Dragonlance has the Solamnic knights (see Tabletop RPG's examples below). In particular, Sturm Brightblade holds to the Oath and Measure upheld by his father, even though he was never actually knighted and most people he knows hold the order in scorn.
- In Dragonvarld, King Edward of Idlyswylde is inspired by stories about these, and wants to fill this role himself. He gets a chance, because there's a dragon to drive off and the fair Melisande to rescue. He doesn't succeed (since the dragon was play-acting and Melisande ends up raped and dead), but it's not really his fault.
- The Dresden Files:
- Harry Dresden, despite his continual disbelief at the concept, is a Wizard version of this. He isn't a firm believer in God, but holds to the "Tao of Peter Parker." He has great power and with it comes great responsibility. He will fight the monsters of the dark with all he has. While he will work with evil at times, he will never submit to it. He endures a shadow of a Fallen Angel whispering in his ear for years when no shadow has taken at most days, or weeks to make the person fall. His good heart and stubborn determination changes the shadow herself into something new, and should Harry have taken the coin at that point, would have been killed by the Fallen.
- The three Knights of the Cross are this too. Bearers of holy blades, each blade has one of the Nails that pierced Jesus Christ, and reflect one particular virtue, Hope, Faith, and Love, respectively. The Knights, male or female, are bound by His codes. Their jobs are not to kill the hosts of the Fallen Angels, but offer them redemption. Should they violate this, or break their word, harm an innocent, or other corruptible act, it threatens the very nature of the Sword and risks depowering it at best, or breaking it at worst. That said, nothing is lost forever and there is always hope the Sword can be reforged at the right place and at the Right time. They do not recruit people, nor do they force them to serve for their lives. Many Knights have taken up the Sword to help with one Crisis and set them down, no consequences upon them.
- Michael Carpenter fits this trope to a T. Complete with kevlar-lined shining armour. He even meets his wife by saving her from a fire-breathing dragon. While he is an idealist, he isn't dumb. He can work many things out in time and plan accordingly. Even though it pains him, when he gets a call, he will depart from his family, trusting Him to keep them safe.
- Sanya is the Atoning Knight in Shining Armor as he was once host to one of the Fallen, but a moral epiphany freed him from the demon's clutches. He wields the Sword of Hope, bringing it to the world and helping save many people.
- Galahad, from An Elegy for the Still-living initially appears to be one of these. But when the time comes for him to fight the dragon, he reveals that it is unbeatable and that he only went there to die.
- David Eddings' The Elenium trilogy:
- Sparhawk fits the spiritual heroism of this trope even as he rejects its superficial aspects. Ironically, Sparhawk's own mental image is the aging, weather-beaten, not-especially handsome professional soldier he is, rather than a romantic hero, and the affections of his formerly Distressed Damsel wife were at first a source of considerable guilt, as she is almost half his age. His armor, by the way, like all knights of the Pandion order, is far from shining; it's enameled black.
- Downplayed with Sir Bevier and by extension the rest of the Cyrinic Knights from the same series who are literal Knights in Shining Armor. The Cyrinic Knights polish their armor to a mirror finish as opposed to the Pandions, and the other two orders of Church Knights go with unadorned dull steel.
- In Erl of Toulouse, a queen is saved by a champion after two knights falsely accuse her of infidelity for refusing their advances.
- In The Guardians, Hugh was a medieval knight sincerely striving towards honor and chivalry when he met Lilith. She taunts his naiveté by nicknaming him "Sir Pup". He was rewarded for his life of honesty with the Gift of lie detection.
- In Robert A. Heinlein's Have Space Suit Will Travel, Kip has a dream featuring knights in shining space armor (and dragons and Arcturian maidens among its tamer elements). Afterward, he insists on preceding Peewee out of the cell like a proper knight, and after a failure regards himself as not a knight, but a soda jerk.
- Literature/Horseclans: Sir Geros Lahvoheetos, a gentleman's valet who earns a knighthood and myriad other honours through his chivalry and courage. Honest, humble and kind to others, convinced of his own cowardice - because in his eyes wetting himself in terror outweighs such suicidal courage as running into a blazing inferno to rescue a wounded comrade pinned beneath debris.
- Journey to Chaos: Siron Esrah is a chivalrous nobleman who insists on propriety and protecting the Crown Princess. His introduction is during a joust.
- The Knight in Rusty Armor: The Knight is this twenty-four hours a day. Subverted as he only does this because he'll be appreciated by others for it. Indeed, the armor is also a metaphor for hiding one's True Self, and when he sheds it, so he does this trope.
- In Le Morte Darthur, written by Thomas Malory (who may have been this trope's complete opposite), many characters are subversions in that they all had glaring flaws: King Arthur, usually portrayed as The Good King, had an early Nice Job Breaking It, Herod! moment and later is struck down by Mordred because he was too enraged to heed a prophetic dream; the wise mentor Merlin was a Dirty Old Man and met his doom because of it; Gawain, while on the Quest for the Sangreal (Holy Grail), refused to do penance and was rebuked by hermits and disembodied voices alike for his homicidal ways; the great Lancelot was an adulterer who had an affair with Arthur's wife, Guinevere, and failed in the Sangreal Quest due to his unstable virtue. Indeed, the Sangreal Quest itself shows, and was meant to show, how all these noble knights, great in the world, fell short spiritually. The only knight allowed to achieve the Sangreal was Galahad, who exemplified the knightly ideal.
- Galahad, fittingly enough for the best knight in the world, can even get his own bullet point. Because he was intended to represent knightly perfection, Le Morte Darthur writes him as a flawless creature. There is an unused chair at the Round Table that will kill any who sit in it, except the one destined to find the Sangreal. Galahad introduces himself to Arthur by sitting in it. Arthur then takes him to a stone with a sword sticking out of it (sound familiar?) that can only be pulled by the best knight in the world. Galahad pulls it. Arthur announces a jousting tournament. Galahad beats everyone he faces. The text makes several remarks on his virtue (that he's still a maid, that he doesn't wantonly kill), and he achieves the Sangreal, eventually being allowed to ascend up to Heaven.
- In Living Alone by Stella Benson, one silly woman describes herself as fighting spiritually against the Germans as this.
"Yes, I was," persisted Miss MacBee. "I lay on the hammock which I have had slung in my cellar, and shut my eyes, and loosed my spirit, and it shot upward like a lark released. It detached itself from the common trammels of the body, yes, my spirit, in shining armour, fought with the false, cruel spirits of murderers."
- In Jack Campbell's The Lost Stars series, the Tarnished Knight novel leads up to the Title Drop, Iceni reflects that she doesn't have this, but she may have a somewhat more tarnished version.
- In Devon Monk's Magic to the Bone, Allie plays with this, speaking of looking for police in shining armor and the like.
- In Erin Morgenstern's The Night Circus, Bailey draws the Knight of Swords, showing a knight charging, sword drawn.
- In John Hemry's Paul Sinclair novels, Jen refers to Paul as this, repeatedly. Her father ironically observes that he expected to need sunglasses while meeting him.
- Despite his anti-hero tendencies, the titular character of Philip Marlowe is explicitly compared, by Raymond Chandler, to a knight in shining armor.
- The Queen's Fool portrays Lord Robert Dudley as this. He rides to battle in the war against France to show the Queen his loyalty after he loses all his lands. He also remains respectful towards Hannah after she refuses him, and remains cool with his wife when she accuses him of cheating on her.
- In The Queen's Thief series, Costis in The King of Attolia is an example. Not only does he have "a sense of honor as wide as a river," but he actually spends quite some time hoping that his armor is shiny enough for the King's critical eye.
- In L. Jagi Lamplighter's Rachel Griffin series, the The Raven, the Elf, and Rachel novel features a princess's vision where she sees two sets of these standing (with some allies) against the Horsemen of the Apocalypse. They are referred to as Saracen knights and paladins, so they appear to be from the Matter of France — and in an Enemy Mine situation.
- The The Royal Diaries series has Eleanor crushing on a knight inEleanor: Crown Jewel of Aquitaine]], and she wants him to be her bodyguard. Once when they are attacked, Clotaire the Strong pulls her into his saddle, and races her back to the safety of the castle.
- In The Last Hero, one of the earlier novels (1931) of The Saint series, Simon Templar takes a back seat to his gallant and tragic associate Norman Kent, who falls in love hopelessly with Templar's girlfriend Patricia Holm (who hardly notices him) and at the end of the book sacrifices his life to let Templar and his other comrades-in-arms escape the current villain and fight again another day. A book called "Knights Errant of the Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries" by Caroline Whitehead and George McLeod says it all: "Norman Kent is an archetypal knight-errant. Though formally a man of 20th Century England, he lives (and dies) by the Code of Chivalry. He loves totally his Lady, Patricia Holm — who, like Don Quixote's Dulcinea, is not aware of that love. He is totally loyal to his Liege Lord, Simon Templar. Like Sir Gawain in "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight", Norman Kent takes on the threats to his Lord. Not only physical threats to life and limb, but also the sometimes unavoidable need to take on dishonourable acts which would have reflected badly on the reputation of King Arthur/Simon Templar is taken on, wholly and without reservation, by Sir Gawain/Norman Kent."
- Saint George and the Dragon which came from the poem in The Faerie Queene: The Red Cross Knight is champion for Princess Una, traveling with her to slay the dragon which has been terrorizing her land. He makes certain that she's well back from harm when the battle begins. After the king rewards him, he says never to forget the poor and gives away the gifts. He does accept Una as his wife and inheriting the king's crown however.
- Frank Yerby's The Saracen Blade describes the hero's friend Gautier of Montrose as "a true knight" and specifically states he was "one of the few" who lived up to the best ideals of knighthood and did a bit to redeem the period from savagery.
- Subverted in Second Apocalypse. When Esmenet is about to get stoned by some ignorant villagers, she's rescued by a dashing holy knight called Sarcellus. However, it turns out that Sarcellus is not at all what he appears to be.
- In Sir Tryamour, there's Sir Barnard, who rescues the queen after she's attacked by men sent by an evil steward during her infidelity-imposed exile. Then there's the titular character, Sir Tryamour, who goes above and beyond to defend both his lands from Germany's armies, and the honor of Princess Helen, who is seven in this story.
- John Moore's Slay and Rescue has a prince literally named Charming, sent by his father's chancellor to rescue fair maidens all over the place (the theory is that it keeps him too busy to try to take over the throne).
- Song at Dawn: Dragonetz left for the Second Crusade as one of these; full of confidence in Christendom and Chivalry.
- In A Song of Ice and Fire, this trope is zigzagged.
- Ser Loras Tyrell, the Knight of Flowers, embodies the chivalric ideals of Westeros. Supposedly anyway. He's not above being a Combat Pragmatist, and some other knights in attendance considered what he did to be "dirty cheating". He's also a cocky prick.
- Though she has some aspects of a Knight In Sour Armor, Brienne of Tarth is mostly this trope played as straight as you can get (being a woman in a job otherwise held solely by men notwithstanding). She suffers from deep insecurities, and and is struggling to reconcile the ideal of what knights should be with what most are... hence, some of the sour touches. Yet, she nevertheless shows the boys how it should be done. Heck, it rubs off on Jaime.
- On the other hand, Jaime Lannister is a Subversion. At first he appears appears the perfect Knight in Shining Armor, being incredibly handsome, the best fighter in the land, the slayer of the previous tyrant king and, due to to having his armour gilded, actual shining armour. However, he's quickly revealed to be violent, arrogant and in an incestuous relationship with his sister. And thanks to being the Kingslayer, a breach of his vows as a knight of the Kingsguard, nobody trusts him. After going through Break the Haughty and a HeelFace Turn with Brienne's example waved in front of his face, Jaime struggles to become a true, chivalric knight.
- Then there are the Clegane brothers who, aside from their martial skills, aren't models of what knights are supposed to be, though Sandor is getting better.
- Sandor (AKA "The Hound") at one point explains that there is a vast discrepancy between what the people of Westeros idealize knights to be, and what knights actually are (professional killers with fancy titles).
- Sandor actually averts and deconstructs this trope straight from the beginning; he isn't technically a knight at all, and everybody should know that (not only is his backstory notorious, but he reminds people all the time). He has the horse, the sword, the armor, et al, but he was never actually knighted on either the field or in a Sept. He's also no Northerner, so doesn't follow their Old God-fearing warrior code, either. And the reason for all this? His older brother, Ser Gregor, is such a psychotic, murderous brute that, if someone like him can become an anointed, accredited, titled and acknowledged knight, then Sandor wants nothing at all to do with the whole hypocritical institution. So, by personal, dedicated conviction and stubbornness... Sandor can choose to often act something a lot like a "true knight", but in ways and for reasons no official Westerosi knight would find honourable. Or just not. And shames the lot, when they call him on his supposedly unchivalrous behaviour... that all too regularly matches their own: he swore no knightly vows to gods or men, so he can't break them. This leaves his accusers with no real leg to stand on, even with his charisma score that's through the floor: when you have a point that strong, you don't need glitter.
- Played Straight with Ser Barristan Selmy, the last of the old guard Kingsguard, who is essentially everything a knight is supposed to be. Also played straight with Ser Addam Marbrand, who's an extremely capable warrior and commander, and thoroughly honorable. Somehow, he manages to pull off this trope despite being an officer in service to the Lannisters.
- Ser Arthur Dayne, the Sword of Morning, was this as well. Eddard Stark considers him to be the best knight he ever met, and everyone recognizes him as the greatest knight of his time. Jaime idolized him in his youth and considers the day he witnessed Arthur's fight against the Smiling Knight one of the best moments of his life. Jaime in a moment of self-reflection wonders how the boy who wanted to become the Sword of Morning became the Smiling Knight instead.
- In the prequel novella series Tales of Dunk and Egg, the titular Ser Duncan the Tall is a Humble Hero, but he might well be one of the most down-to-earth decent knights in Westerosi history. His rise to infamy in the first story, defending a common puppeteer from a murder attempt by the King's grandson has everyone calling him "a knight who remembered his vows", which is treated as a rarity. His ethics have a lot to do with his humble upbringing as a former street urchin brought up as a hedge knight's squire.
- Averted and Deconstructed by practically every other knight you'll encounter in the series. Most knights in Westeros are just heavily armoured thugs who got to where they are because of politics, and even the "good" knights like the ones listed are quite morally dubious.
- As an adaptation of the Arthurian legends, Gerald Morris's The Squire's Tales naturally features this.
- Dalinar from The Stormlight Archive is this to the core, and encourages his eldest son to be. This usually causes him to be regarded as an eccentric or fuddy-duddy by the other characters. Also, in the Backstory of the setting, the aptly named Knights Radiant were knights in literal shining armour.
- Also note that the armor stops being shiny if you aren't worthy of it, and a few times when Dalinar is being particularly heroic, his armor starts glowing.
- Guy Crouchback in Sword of Honour by Evelyn Waugh consciously sees himself as a throwback to this. As one of the points is that no one else is honorable, perhaps he is also a Knight In Sour Armor. But despite that, he fits the mold.
- There's a rather nice paladin in The Threat from the Sea trilogy (never mind that he once was pious enough to carry the symbol of his divine patron... and then hurl it to sea), but though he eventually acquires a mount (sort of), he never wears heavy armor (after all, he's a seaman). Complemented with the usual chivalric knight for contrast. There were more traditional stiff ones (including some protagonists) in The Pools trilogy. And now there's Thornhold featuring Knights of Samular who "seems to think that Harpers and Zhents are fit to stew in the same pot" (which seems right to some extent) but seems not to be any less fit for the same pot themselves. They have an agent of a Chaotic Evil church among them.
- In Poul Anderson's Three Hearts and Three Lions, the hero Holger is thrown in a world where the Matter of France, Charlemagne and his paladins, is fact, and both becomes a knight himself, and meets up with knights. The three hearts and three lions of the title are the coat of arms on his shield. The Paladin class of Dungeons & Dragons is primarily inspired by the paladins from this story. It's revealed in the end that he truly is one of Charlemagne's Paladins—he's Ogier the Dane
- In Susan Dexter's The True Knight, Titch has a few flaws but meets the requirements — short of being actually knighted. Wren, nevertheless, pleads at the end that he is the best knight the duke will ever meet.
- Sir Nigel Loring, of The White Company, fits this to the letter.
- The Groosalaugg from Angel, although he ditches the shining armor shortly after moving to LA.
- Alistair in one episode of As Time Goes By shows up dressed as a Knight in Shining Armor to help him win Judy's affection.
- Jamie Reagan in Blue Bloods is a cop not a knight but plays to this trope in the sense of dedicating his live to protecting order, being loyal to his family and comrades, helping the helpless and in general putting honor way before reason. And wearing a cool uniform. Call him a Knight in shining blue cloth.
- Bones: Angela refers to Booth as a "knight in shining FBI standard-issue body armor".
- One is summoned by accident in Charmed, thanks to Paige.
- Jon Stewart's sudden appearance on The Colbert Report to save Stephen from utter humiliation at the hands of Conan O'Brien, with the now-famous shout of "Don't you do it, boy!", has been referred to as the 'knight in shining Armani' moment by fans, (ordinarily, he's much more of a Butt-Monkey.)
- Sir Thomas Grey, 'Quite the Knight of the Realm' as an outlaw observes in one episode of Covington Cross. Sir Thomas' sons, William, Richard, and Cedric, are aspiring knights - as is his only daughter! On the other hand his eldest son wants to be a cook...
- Criminal Minds: In the first season finale the Un Sub is suffering from the delusion that Reid and the team are this. It's also been stated in the special features that they attempt to write stories about knights in shining bulletproof vests, and end up with what the show is.
- Doctor Who
- In "The Girl in the Fireplace": The Doctor does a Super Window Jump on a white horse to save the lady from evil. The chivalrous parallel is increased by the fact that in doing so, he's trapping himself in time.
- The Doctor takes up a big sword in a duel to decide the fate of Earth as the planet's champion during "The Christmas Invasion".
- Game of Thrones:
- Ser Loras Tyrell (see Literature above) literally has the shiniest armor in Westeros, at least in the first season, and apart from some Combat Pragmatism, acts the part of this trope. By the second season, his armor becomes rusty and dirty, expressing his increasing cynicism, and he does not smile as much. Although Loras is not romantically interested in Sansa, his adherence to knightly ideals plays a part in wanting to rescue her from the hell she's in, and he willingly enters into an Arranged Marriage with the girl so that he can whisk her away to Highgarden. Say what you will of his grandmother's and sister's ulterior motives, but Loras is more honourable than that. He understands that King's Landing is a terrible place for Sansa, and he sees her as a Damsel in Distress who is held prisoner by the "monster" Joffrey. Unfortunately for his non-yaoi Fangirls, he's gay.
- Jaime Lannister looks exactly like this, but is actually a Blood Knight reviled as The Oathbreaker. As his physical state degrades, however, he actually starts trying to live up to the trope.
- Barristan Selmy arguably fits this trope the best, and is presented as something of a paragon of a by-gone age. This becomes especially clear after he joins Daenerys, and his advising her to morally correct choices contrasts with Jorah's more coldly pragmatic suggestions.
- Along with Barristan Selmy and Loras Tyrell, Brienne of Tarth comes closest to being one and plays this trope quite straight, despite being denied knighthood because of her gender, though her actual armour in Season 4 is black. She's dedicated, an excellent fighter, unwaveringly loyal, protective of the weak, noble and good-hearted.
- Sandor Clegane so despises this trope that he refuses knighthood even when he joins the previously knights-only order of the Kingsguard.
- The loyal Stark retainer Rodrik Cassel is a strong, loyal, and honorable Old Soldier and one of the few official knights in the North, though he lacks in actual shining armor.
- Davos Seaworth is not a straight example, because he doesn't wear armor, but he's one of the very few unambiguously good non-Stark characters and is a knight. It's thus a welcome development that he has now become the leading retainer of the resurgent Kingdom of the North, together with Brienne.
- The gilded armor Gregor Clegane wears as Kingsguard member is clearly meant to invoke this. Unfortunately, this character utterly averts this.
- Jorah Mormont is not nearly as straight an example as Barristan Selmy (indeed, his armor's a rather dull, functional grey, reflecting his pragmatism), but he's definitely got his moments. Also reconstructed in his case, as he began the series as a rather self-centered manipulator (selling out the Targaryens, to whom he had sworn an oath, to Varys and King Robert in exchange for a pardon). But when he finds someone truly worthy of his loyalty, and whom he also loves (Daenerys) he drops it immediately, Becoming the Mask and a rock-hard Targaryen loyalist, not to mention upright, kind, and honest, while still being acceptably pragmatic and ruthless towards the Targaryens' enemies.
- In Have Gun Will Travel, Paladin, as the name suggests, although he wears what looks more like a villainous outfit if you go by traditional Good Colours, Evil Colours. In some of the darker stories stories he can come off as more of a Knight In Sour Armor, when dealing with more disgusting individuals his bitterness can shine through.
- In House, William admits that he's in love with his queen, Shannon, but out of respect for his honor code as a knight, he does not want to break up her relationship with her fiancé, Miles, in the episode Knight Fall.
- Sheriff Cody Johnson, Brian Thompson's character in the short-lived series Key West, was thoroughly one of these.
- Although not a literal knight David Shephard in Kings fulfills all the other qualifications and as a soldier could be said to be the modern equivalent of a knight.
- Lancelot in Merlin (2008), albeit only briefly until he is thrown out for being a commoner. Meanwhile, Prince Arthur is becoming one, and part of the point of the series is Merlin helping Arthur become one. As of the end of series 3, Lancelot has been properly knighted as one of Arthur's new Round Table, as well as Gwaine, Elyan and newcomer Percival. Along with veteran knight Sir Leon, they all aspire towards this trope and prove their worthiness as knights at many points during the rest of the series.
- Power Rangers: Any of the Rangers, although they subvert it occasionally, usually with Knight In Sour Armor.
- Fantasy buff Chip from Power Rangers Mystic Force was thrilled to find out "knight" is an actual rank in the mystic realm and strives to reach it so he can be a knight in shining armor. Daggeron, the Solaris Knight, fits the bill quite well already, though again, any Ranger tends to. However, Daggeron's the one who gives the most stereotypically "knightly" lines like "I'd rather die with honor than live without it." Noble Demon Koragg, also of knight rank, gives such speeches, but it's actually his true self bleeding through the brainwashing; he actually doesn't want to fight the Rangers at all. His good alter-ego Leanbow taught Daggeron everything he knows.
- Other more literal knights include the second Magna Defender of Power Rangers Lost Galaxy (the original was a Black Knight), Sentinel Knight of Power Rangers Operation Overdrive, and Sir Ivan of Power Rangers Dino Charge. Robo Knight of Power Rangers Megaforce was intended to be one, but programming flaws lead him to focus strictly on eliminating threats and not consider things like civilian safety, though he's getting better.
- Scrubs: Sir Percival in the fairytale Perry Cox tells his son in a Something Completely Different episode.
- The Strain: Fed is big, strong, loyal to a fault, fearless to the point of insanity and pretty much smashed his way through a wall that separated him from his lover and team mate Dutch, then being tortured by a complete and utter monster. Later on, when a badly traumatized Dutch is about to leave the team and him, he is visibly hurt. Instead of being bitter or making any reproaches, he accepts her choice and wishes her the best.
- Tin Man: Cain's no knight, but he did vow to be the princess's protector. When the crew is riding to DG's rescue in part 3, he's got the white horse.
- Adam in The Wanderer goes from cutthroat businessman to Knight in Shining Armor in a single episode. Handwaved by the fact he is reverting to the mindset of an earlier incarnation.
- The White Queen: Richard of Gloucester adheres to the code of chivalry during his adolescence and young adulthood, and this is remarked upon ("[George] has none of Richard's chivalry" / "[Edward] said I was a fool for chivalry"). Absolutely no one questions his devotion to King Edward IV, as Richard is always dutiful whether it's peacetime or war. He also defends Anne Neville at the Battle of Tewkesbury when several soldiers assault her, which evokes Lady and Knight. However, Richard becomes a Knight In Sour Armor in Episode 7 after he's disenchanted with the king's debauchery, and he's offended when Edward attempts to appease him by bribing him with gold. By Episode 8, Richard's moral compass is thoroughly broken when the opportunity to usurp the throne opens up to him.
- Prince Eric Greystone of Wizards and Warriors (the TV series, not the video games), golden haired and usually clad in gold lame. Honorable to the point of folly - or beyond. His even hunkier brother Prince Justin on the other hand is a total subversion of the Trope.
- The music video for "Holding Out for a Hero" by Bonnie Tyler has one: in this case, a heroic cowboy knight in angelic white armor on a white horse, which is also mentioned in the song ("Isn't there a white knight upon a fiery steed?").
- The Faith Hill song "This Kiss"
Cinderella said to Snow White
'How does love get so off course?
All I wanted was a white knight with a good heart,
soft touch, fast horse.'
Ride me off into the sunset, baby I'm forever yours.
- The song "Glory of Love" by Peter Cetera:
Just like a knight in shining armor
From a long time ago
Just in time I will save the day
Take you to my castle far away.
- The country song "Suds In The Bucket" by Sara Evans.
When her prince pulled up - a white pickup truck
Her folks shoulda seen it comin' - it was only just a matter of time
Plenty old enough - and you can't stop love
She stuck a note on the screen door - "sorry but I got to go"
- The Taylor Swift song "White Horse" is a subversion, as it features a woman who got heartbroken by a lover who she once believed to be her knight, and realizes that real life is not like the fairytales she thought it was.
I'm not a princess, this ain't a fairytale
I'm not the one you'll sweep off her feet
Lead her up the stairwell
...Now it's too late for you and your white horse
To come around.
- When EMLL became the more internationally diverse CMLL, few of the new luchadors were better received than Steele, the large, powerful, honorable, fair playing knight in his shiny face plate looking mask.
- Chikara has the time-displaced knight Lance Steel and his more time-displaced self, who also serves as his Tag Team partner. They made it their mission to defeat the gnashgabs and uplift pro wrestling to a new, glorious level, and they wear colorful 'armor'. "Huzzah!"
- Chaosium's Pendragon game is based on the stories of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table.
- Dungeons & Dragons: The paladin class was based on Knight in Shining Armor archetype in general and supposedly Three Hearts and Three Lions in particular. Paladins are more like holy crusaders empowered with divine magic, though (which has its own trope, on that note).
- Sturm Brightblade of the Dragonlance D&D saga is the epitome of this trope played straight except for not actually being a knight until shortly before his death. His fellow Knights of Solamnia are not quite so ideal but, with a couple of (important) exceptions, are generally good.
- The Player's Handbook II from late in D&D 3rd Edition introduced the knight class, which is a lot like the paladin but without magical abilities. The knight's abilities focus on mounted combat, single combat with an opposing champion, and maintaining honor.
- The 1st edition Cavalier class, introduced in that era's Unearthed Arcana, was closer to the "standard" Arthurian knight. For a while, the Paladin class was a subclass of the Cavalier instead of the Fighter.
- Paizo's Pathfinder RPG has brought The Paladin full-circle with the "Shining Knight" archetype, complete with bonuses to mounted combat and riding skill. For those not wanting to add divine elements to it, there's also the Cavalier class.
- Ironically, Alain Germande, the Iconic Cavalier, is very much not this, though he does excel at presenting himself this way to aid in seducing impressionable women. He's a Lawful Neutral arrogant Glory Hound Blood Knight who, though surprisingly charismatic, regards all others as expendable tools in pursuit of ever-greater glory and success.
- TSR's Knights of Camelot game also covered the Arthurian knighthood setting.
- The Talisman board game provides two examples of this trope, who reflect the chivalric code slightly differently: the Knight character, who is always of good alignment and who cannot attack other characters of good alignment, and the Chivalric Knight, who can aid rival characters in battle and cannot attack another character whose strength value is less than his own.
- In Wargames Research Group games DBM and DBMM, Knights are the second most formidable troop types after War Elephants. They are fairly confident on running down any mounted troops and most foot, but they are vulnerable to shooting. The Achilles' Heel of Irregular Knights is their impetuosity: unless constantly guarded, they are liable on charging spontaneously the nearest enemy and thus ruining the battle plan.
- All noble Bretonnians aspire towards becoming true knights in shining armour...though as a whole they also tend to display all of potential abuses and flaws of the system of feudalism as a Deconstructive Parody of the trope. Grail Knights, who have been found pure in heart and soul and blessed by the Lady of the Lake, are said to all qualify for this trope by definition (though the aforementioned skewed sense of morality has some fans wonder if the Grail Knights are really more like their more ordinary fellows).
- The Empire also has several noble knightly orders, but their modernization means that the chivalric ideals are not as predominant there as in Bretonnia.
- Baldur's Gate: The series had a few - brash but idealistic squire Anomen, relentlessly pious and judgmental Ajantis, and the old but still fighting Keldorn. Oddly enough, perhaps the most outspokenly classical example is a female halfling, Mazzy, who comes as close as a halfling can come to a paladin in a Second Edition-based game. The Knights of the Noble Order of Radiant Heart were an order of this trope, whom the protagonist could join if s/he was a paladin too.
- Chrono Trigger: Cyrus in the English version. His apprentice Glenn takes on traits of this as well along with being a cursed knight. Not in the original Japanese version: Lost in Translation.
- Dark Souls has Solaire of Astora and Oscar of Astora. Solaire is an honorable, friendly Warrior of the Sun, and Oscar was on a quest to ring the Twin Bells of Awakening. Siegmeyer of Catarina wants to be this, but is far too bumbling.
- Dark Souls III has Siegward of Catarina, as a slightly less bumbling and more badass version of Siegmeyer, and Anri of Astora, who's on a quest to defeat a great evil and wears the Elite Knight set. Darkly subverted with Prince Lorian, though; he was originally this, but after he and his brother Lothric Linked the Fire, he was reduced to a brain-damaged brute unable to even stand upright, aiding his brother in rejecting the Linking of the Fire and becoming the last Lords of Cinder you fight.
- One of the armor sets for the Titan class in Destiny resembles the armor of a knight and flashes a bright blue, befitting of Guardians renowned for being fearless protectors who embody strength and self-sacrifice.
- Balmung of the .hack series (all incarnations). While the setting of the series is an MMORPG, Balmung specifically investigates circumstances which could easily get him hurt in the real world. However, he has a strong moral code on issues of lesser significance, such as a strong distaste for hacking and player harassment. He also has a penchant for swooping in at the last moment to save other characters:
- In Sign, Balmung only appears in one episode, but rushes in to distract the Phase monster so that Subaru and company can escape.
- Similarly, Balmung's introduction in the video games has him chasing down another corrupted monster and trying to get Kite and BlackRose to run away.
- and in the Legend of Twilight manga, Balmung (Now a sysadmin) swoops down yet again and saves Rena, takes out the data bug, and disappears before they can even find his name. When the people he works for ban him from getting involved in this again, he quits his job and takes up arms on his own.
- His status as this in-universe even extends to Newly born AI Aura taking his character template for use as an automated defender of the World.
- Typically for a Low Fantasy setting, the Dragon Age games employ this trope:
- The Warden, Hawke, and the Inquisitor can all fit the trope, if the player so chooses, especially in the warrior class. Inquisition even lets you craft literal shining armor for the character.
- Alistair in Origins is mostly this, being a tank warrior who works best in heavy armor and wielding a BFS; he's sweet, sensitive, and chivalrous. He's also the only party member (besides the dog) who cannot be forced or even asked to leave, due to his Undying Loyalty to the only other Warden. If romanced, he adores his lady and presents her with a rose and some bashful speeches. On top of all that, he's also secretly a Prince Charming, as you learn over the course of the story. Covers a lot of bases, does our boy Alistair.
- A rather novel version is found in the Awakening expansion with the Spirit of Justice. A Fade Spirit based on the concept of Justice, it is eventually trapped in the corpse of a Grey Warden named Kristoff. It then joins your party as an Undead Knight in Shining Armor.
- Aveline from Dragon Age II is a gender-flipped version, complete with rescuing of her love interest.
- Inquisition has two among the Inquisitor's friends:
- Warden-Constable Blackwall, who feels that part of being a Grey Warden is to be this trope. Which is why he pretends to be Warden-Constable Blackwall to atone for his sins.
- Cullen has transitioned from a traumatized Templar recruit to a good example of this trope. He's kind, honorable, and thoughtful. On the other hand, he is still troubled by recovering from his lyrium addiction, and is buried so deep in his work he sometimes forgets to be Cullen: human being. The other characters can help him improve in this vein a little; it's more pronounced if he's romanced.
- Erdrick/Loto's descendant from Dragon Quest is one of the earliest examples for Japanese RPG history by saving a princess in distress and defeating an evil dragonlord on his own.
- The Elder Scrolls
- Throughout the series (at least until Skyrim did away with classes), "Knight" was a preset class. Knights get bonuses to the Blade skill, as well as Heavy Armor, Block, Speechcraft, and Restoration, following the trope closely. The class description reads: "Of noble birth, or distinguished in battle or tourney, knights are civilized warriors, schooled in letters and courtesy, governed by the codes of chivalry. In addition to the arts of war, knights study the lore of healing and enchantment."
- Though outside of High Rock, the Bretons are better known for their magical prowess, he Bretons actually have a strong chivalric tradition and most city states have their own knightly order to that end, as most prominently seen in Daggerfall. (Knights of the Rose in Wayrest, Knights of the Dragon in Daggerfall, as well as various Templar Orders such as the Order of the Hour who are dedicated to Akatosh, the God of Time, and the Knights Mentor, dedicated to the God of Knowledge.) Due to High Rock's cutthroat politics, how noble these knights actually are can vary wildly.
- In Oblivion's Knights of the Nine expansion, the Player Character can found a new holy order of shiny-armored knights. Membership requires avoiding "Infamy" at all costs.
- From the series' backstory comes Pelinal Whitestrake, the legendary 1st Era hero of mankind who came to St. Alessia to serve as her divine champion in the war against the Ayleids. Or, at least, that's how he is remembered in Imperial dogma anyway. Pelinal subverts the trope, having also been a racist berserker who would fly into fits of Unstoppable Rage (mostly directed at the Ayleids) during which he would be stained with their blood and left so much carnage in his wake that Kyne, one of the Divines, would have to send in her rain to cleanse Ayleid forts and village before they could be used by Alessia's forces. In one infamous fit of rage, he damaged the lands themselves, which nearly caused the divines to leave the world in disgust.
- The Justice faction in Eternal Card Game, perhaps unsurprisingly, has many of these in its ranks.
- Sir Gawain from Fate Series is the "most honorable knight" according to Artoria, with being undyingly loyal and a bit of a chivalrous pervert. Turns out that part of the reason why he's so loyal is due to blaming himself for Artoria's death. Subversed in FateGrandOrder, where he ends up following the evil Lion King due to his guilt over said death. However, the Gawain summoned by the Lion King is different than the one allied with the player, and the trope is again played straight in the SE.RA.PH arc.
- ''Final Fantasy:
- The Warrior of Light in Dissidia Final Fantasy takes the trope and runs with it. In fact, he's heroic, noble, unashamedly, unrepentantly, disgustingly chivalrous to the point of making his characterization seem a tad unrealistic. And it's justified too, as a side effect of him originally being born as a clone without much emotions. He's extremely loyal to Cosmos because that's all he's ever known in life.
- As does Cecil, but that rather goes without saying (though perhaps not as much as the Warrior).
- Cecil Harvey in Final Fantasy IV. Indeed, his turn from the dark side to this is one of the driving forces behind and most emotionally satisfying part of the overarching plot.
- Steiner in Final Fantasy IX, to the point that he makes a clanking sound whenever he walks. He is also chivalrous to a fault, and is torn by his conflicting duties to Queen Brahne and Princess Garnet.
- Basch in Final Fantasy XII. Lampshaded when Judge Gabranth wonders, in their final confrontation, how come Basch failed his motherland, and then the kingdom who took him in, but is still the one who keeps his sense of honor of the two.
- The Warrior of Light in Dissidia Final Fantasy takes the trope and runs with it. In fact, he's heroic, noble, unashamedly, unrepentantly, disgustingly chivalrous to the point of making his characterization seem a tad unrealistic. And it's justified too, as a side effect of him originally being born as a clone without much emotions. He's extremely loyal to Cosmos because that's all he's ever known in life.
- Fire Emblem:
- Parodied with Sain in The Blazing Blade, who acts like this just so he can get women. The only result is that his comrade, Kent, repeatedly tells him to drop it and get back to work.
- Played straight as an arrow with Seth from The Sacred Stones, Geoffrey from Path of Radiance and Radiant Dawn, and Kent himself for that matter.
- Camus and Arran from Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light explore the more tragic aspects of this trope:
- Camus ends up having to choose between his love and his country, ending up going with the latter. This results in him being left for dead and his love being stuck in a loveless Arranged Marriage. When he returns as Sirius in Mystery of the Emblem, he devotes himself to saving Nyna, but in the end, even though he's able to snap her out of being Brainwashed and Crazy, he resigns himself to the fact he can't be with her, and leaves, never to return.
- Meanwhile, a case of My Greatest Failure has led Arran to continue to adopt this persona even while terminally ill, as a way of Facing Death with Dignity.
- For Honor has the Knights of the Iron Legions as one of its three factions, yet the only Knight class that approaches this trope is the Warden, who looks the most like the classic interpretation of a knight, wields a longsword, and serves as the viewpoint character for their chapter and afterwards ends up leading a resistance movement of the other Legions against Apollyon and her Blackstone Legion. Still, they don't wear full-on shining plate armor as the trope usually goes, instead wearing brigandine over their torso. There's nothing stopping a Warden player fighting as dishonorably as they want to win fights in the game however.
- In Gems of War, the Whitehelm region has a piety-and-honour theme to it, meaning that its units tend to fit this archetype (i.e. being good-aligned religious crusaders).
- Prince Rurik of Guild Wars, doubling as The Scrappy for many.
- Ky Kiske from Guilty Gear. Prior to the events of the game, he's the commander who willingly risked his life to save people even if the situation seemed hopeless or even if the person to be saved was questionable. An in XX Ky continues to be a noble public servant as a high ranking police officer. In Overture, his popularity and charisma earns him the position of a king.
- Kid Icarus: Uprising makes it clear that Pit is one, as he is endlessly loyal to Palutena and will always fight for the human race, even though the game also shows that Humans Are Bastards and the real Big Bad, Hades, easily manipulates them to kill each other.
- In King's Quest Graham of Daventry forgoes the armor in favor of guile, but he is still very much a knight at heart, even after being crowned king.
- In The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II, Alfin considers Rean to be her knight in shining armor when he inadvertently rescues her at Pantagruel (he was forcibly taken there and both had no idea that the other was also on the ship) complete with Rean giving Alfin a Bridal Carry.
- The Legend of Zelda has Link who, while not always a knight by occupation, is nonetheless an Ideal Hero who's been saving the princess and the land of Hyrule from Evil Overlord Ganon since 1986. That said, several of his incarnations are stated to have descended from the Knights of Hyrule, the Skyward Sword version is in the middle of training to become a knight at the start of the game, and Breath of the Wild's Link served as Princess Zelda's personal knight.
- Oersted from Live A Live is a deconstructed example. Demon-slaying, princess-saving, the whole nine yards. The chapter is dedicated to show that even the noblest of knights can finally crack if there's enough hatred to corrode them, and in his case he cracked pretty damned hard.
- Samara in Mass Effect 2, even going so far as to give a Knight Errant (perhaps with a bit of Samurai) as the closest human equivalent to her order. Though she has a strong ruthless streak, and is absolutely unbending when it comes to her code.
- Neverwinter Nights: Lady Aribeth, Paladin of Tyr, the god of Justice is a rare female example. Her fall towards evil after seeing the city she had sacrificed so much for execute her fiancé for a crime he is innocent of (he was made a scapegoat and the people condemning him are fully aware of it) as well as the blatant injustice committed in the name of the god of justice is the main plot of the game
- Neverwinter Nights 2 had Casavir. Granted, he has all the personality of a brick, but he's a chivalrous paladin nevertheless.
- Overwatch: Reinhardt Wilhelm is more of knight in mechanical rocket powered armor, but he still fits, and in fact invokes this trope. He sees himself as a modern day knight, and was previously part of an enitre order of modern knights in powered armor called The Crusaders. He acted as the The Heart to the titular Overwatch, staunchly supporting the group, but calling them out the minute they started straying morally. His forced retirement was the first step to the organization's eventual collapse from corruption and infighting, leading him to become a Knight Errant. In his youth, he was a hot-blooded and reckless gloryhound whose actions led to the massacre of his mentor and almost his entire unit. He later deeply regrets it.
- Fernando from Paladins is an egotistical self-appointed knight who does heroics for glory and charming women. However, he does look out for his comrades and will protect them with his mighty shield and fry foes with his flame lance.
- Aeron, of Pandora's Tower, who starts the game off sneaking into the capital city of the country his homeland is at war with just to watch his girlfriend sing, then doesn't hesitate to disappear with her when Elena is promptly afflicted with a curse. He then spends half the game looking to break said curse, and the other half looking after her and making their shabby safehouse a much more pleasant place to be just so she's more comfortable. Bonus points for the fact his armor is literally bright, shiny gold.
- The Knight class in Runes of Magic is apparently inspired by this trope.
- In Shop Heroes, Gauvin aspires to be a classic knight slaying dragons to rescue princesses. He's currently a squire, though.
- Soul Series has Siegfried, as well as Patroklos (though the latter was initially an arrogant Jerkass who did morally questionable things in the name of "justice")
- In Starcraft, Raynor starts out as one, Kerrigan even lampshades it; but unfortunately he then realizes that the Koprulu Sector is a Crapsack World and becomes a Knight In Sour Armor.
- Flynn in Tales of Vesperia.
- While Flynn is a very literal example on top of displaying the character traits, his best friend Yuri embodies the traits befitting this trope, while crossing it with Knight In Sour Armor, due to his dislike of the Empire and his time as an actual knight. He even gets a title in reference to the characteristics of this trope, called True Knight, and it's noted when you get the costume that Yuri is the most knightly of any of the characters, including Flynn (as the character who says this is talking to Flynn, who will agree with her).
- [[Video Game/TCTRPG The Colour Tuesday]]: Kyle fits this; he only rebels when its clear his sister will die if she does not recieve medicine that he can't leave town for because of an arbitrary law (apparently it's the wrong "season") He's consistently the most polite and level-headed character, and doesn't think twice about sacrificing his relationship with Alex and his powers to cross the magical flames which separate him and the medicine he carries from his sister. Thankfully this isn't necessary.
- In Undertale, Undyne literally refers to herself as a "knight in shining armor" in one version of her pre-Boss Battle speech. Though she will fight humans for other monsters with a vengeance, she's really a Hot-Blooded badass who bows to practically nobody.
- In King Arthur The Roleplaying Wargame, this is a given as you command various members of the Knights of the Round Table. While there are murderous Knights who are more concerned about their chances at raping and pillaging, many of your Knights are law-abiding and hold true to the folklore of chivalry, including your first Knights - Sir Ector and King Mark.
- Sir Toby, from Chivalry and Knavery. A Christian knight (who happens to be an anthropomorphic lion), who is kind, brave and extremely strong. And patient, otherwise he would have run screaming from Kira and Ulf. According to his character description, he believes that there is good in everyone - amazingly, his time with the two of them hasn't beaten that belief out of him.
- In Cucumber Quest, due to being a work of satire that affectionately pokes fun at video game tropes, this trope is zigzagged.
- The knights of Cake Town all wear hodgepodge suits of armor made of random parts, and are just little more than glorified servants for King Croissant and his daughter, Princess Parfait. Because of the king's low standards of knighthood, most of the knights are easily defeated by Peridot during Cordelia's invasion of Cake Town. The rest of them turn traitor while one, Sir Carrot, escapes.
- Sir Carrot aspires to be a true knight and behaves according to chivalric traditions, but his crippling cowardice prevents him from acting like he should, to the point of becoming The Load while his much younger friends (Nautilus, Cucumber, and Almond) are much more capable than him. In fact, Sir Carrot's cowardice becomes a point of drama in Chapter 3 where Almond is manipulated into seeing him as a villain by Rosemaster and the others, including himself, lose faith in him. But the Nightmare Knight's intervention, combined with receiving a Love Letter and a love boost from a captive Parfait, causes Sir Carrot to regain his courage and level up permanently - gaining a gleaming, heart-themed suit of armor and a strawberry-shaped heart on his chest that allows him to summon magical weapons from it. And he defeats Rosemaster, too.
- In Freefall, a robot refrains from an evil plan because he's always thought of himself as the "shining armor type"
- Big-Ears is probably the most good-aligned character in the whole comic. If he were human they'd have named a city after him.
- Kore, on the other hand, is a complete inversion though he believes he's the good guy.
- Sir Muir in Harkovast fits this trope, even if his armour is more battered then shining most of the time!
- The Order of the Stick: All the Sapphire Guards are, but O-Chul even more so. The Giant describes him as "everything right about the paladin". He was already one in all but name in his prequel story, when he was just a regular captain in the army. He is honest and humble, stern but compassionate, courageous in the face of overwhelming odds, but above all else, committed to protecting the lives of everyone, human or hobgoblin. In fact, he alone is the main reason that the Sapphire Guard is such a bastion of righteousness. He initially tried to have the Sapphire Guard dismissed due to them being a bunch of elitist nobles more concerned with slaughtering evil than paying attention to the most obvious ramifications of their actions, but when told that wasn't an option, he joined them instead as an Internal Reformist. It worked.
O-Chul: A lot of people are going to get hurt tomorrow. All we can do is stand in the way of that and say, "Not them. Me. If you need to hurt someone, hurt me."
- In Our Little Adventure, after a rogue tricks a wizard into identifying their scrolls, he gives her the one she needs, and she gushes that he's her knight in shining armor.
- Esten in Roza. Even if lacking the armor and resembling a Bounty Hunter.
- In Rusty and Co., the Night Wight was once the White Knight.
- Squid Row: A knight in a shining hatchback, anyway
- In Sinfest,
- Hong Chunhwa from Tower of God, a chivalrous knight who always pays his respects to the ladies.
- The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob!: Dame Abby Primrose, with her suit of Powered Armor, is essentially this for the dragon civilization.
- While several Servants in Fate/Nuovo Guerra come from Arthurian romances or the Matter of France, the best example would probably be Sir Roland. Sir Gawain is a special case: his devotion to Chivalry eventually led to Camelot's downfall, as he refused to call for Lancelot's help for the Battle of Camlann.
- In The Gamer's Alliance, Marcus Sarillius is a virtuous, and occasionally gullible, paladin who is always eager to save damsels in distress and set things right. Osmond Locke and Swenson Von Strupenguard are other notable examples.
- In Tales Out of Tallis Sir Bastien is trying very hard to be one, though Rien tends to make it extraordinarily difficult for him.
- Roman from Sanders Sides]] would very much like to be one, but he has difficulty since, 1) He's simply a facet of Thomas' personality, not an actual human, and, 2) Thomas lives in modern, suburban Florida. He still tries to push Thomas into acting like one from time to time.
- Worm has Gallant, a superhero who explictly chooses to live by this trope.
- Chevalier as well. He's one of the most morally upright characters in the setting, and for bonus points he actually wears shining armor.
- The title Knight of Hope is naturally this. It's implied he's sent by God Himself to answer woman's prayers to be saved from a camp of bandits, and after slaughtering literally all of them, takes time to return her necklace depicting Saint Michael back to her and show her she's safe now before departing.
- The recurring Adventures of the Gummi Bears character Sir Victor, the White Knight, is a classic Knight in Shining Armor. However, it turns out that he is actually the estranged brother of the series' Big Bad, Duke Igthorn, and lives in constant fear that he would turn evil like the rest of his family (before An Aesop is delivered to him, anyway) and rights wrongs as perceived atonement for his house's ill deeds.
- Sir Roderick from Gawayn. It's a shame he also tends to be Lord Error-Prone.
- Shining Knight of Justice League Unlimited. Especially played up in "Patriot Act" where he and a mutated General Ripper do battle while they argue what duty to one's country means.
- In My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, Twilight Sparkle's big brother is a tall, white stallion named Shining Armor and is Captain of the Canterlot Royal Guard. For bonus points, he even marries a princess in the season 2 finale, though his sister and his bride-to-be Cadance have to save him from the Monster of the Week.
- Sir Giles in Disney's animated featurette of Kenneth Grahame's "The Reluctant Dragon" chapter of Dream Days both embodies and subverts this trope, in that although he actually is a famous dragon-slaying hero (in Grahame's book actually St. George himself), he is nevertheless willing to fake a combat with the eponymous dragon on learning that he, too, is 'a bit of a bard'.
- South Park: Stan Marsh became a mix of this and the Only Sane Man. And sometimes he himself parodies this trope.
- Prince Alex from Super 4. Despite coming from Kingsland (a medieval location) he doesn't wear a lot of armor, but has the personality to a T.
- Steven Universe has an entire episode, "Sworn To The Sword", dedicated to a deconstruction of this trope. Pearl trains Connie in swordplay, while also instructing her on the duties of knighthood as being "completely dedicated to a person and a cause", expecting Connie to be dedicated to Steven as Pearl was for Rose Quartz. Unfortunately, Pearl has severe self-esteem issues that she ultimately projects onto Connie, demanding that she be prepared to sacrifice her own well-being for Steven, just as Pearl had done for Rose countless times during the Gem War. Steven, Connie's "liege", is freaked out by the thought of Connie sacrificing her safety and self-worth for his sake and eventually gets through to her and Pearl by proving that it's better to fight together as a team, and gets Pearl to admit that Rose never devalued her and that she was just beating herself up.
- Silverbolt, from Beast Wars, is a usually tongue-in-cheek example of this type. He's not a parody so much as a walking Lampshade Hanging, complete with trumpet fanfares when he speaks. It really helps that both his animals — one a wolf, the other an eagle — are typical "noble" animals. (which sorta makes a Griffin an even more noble animal)
Blackarachnia: Oh no. You're not saving my life again? Even after I shot you?
Silverbolt: It's my duty, ma'am, as a Maximal and as a heroic character.
- Sadly, he also counts as a case of Stupid Good, and in the sequel Beast Machines, he gets run through the ringer quite cruelly.
- Silverbolt, from Beast Wars, is a usually tongue-in-cheek example of this type. He's not a parody so much as a walking Lampshade Hanging, complete with trumpet fanfares when he speaks. It really helps that both his animals — one a wolf, the other an eagle — are typical "noble" animals. (which sorta makes a Griffin an even more noble animal)
- William Marshal, 1st Earl of Pembroke, was the younger son of a minor nobleman who went on to serve the royal family of Henry II of England and be given the hand and estates of Isabel de Clare, eventually rising to become the right hand man of three successive Kings (Henry II, Richard I and John), and regent to a fourth (Henry III), fighting in battle in his 70's. He eventually came to be known by his contemporaries as "The Marshal" and "the greatest knight," getting a real life Historical Hero Upgrade by featuring in a number of chansons de geste.
- Godfrey of Bouillon, first King of the Kingdom of Jerusalem, was a leading crusader in the First Crusade, and unlike his relative Baldwin of Edessa and his contemporary, Bohemond of Taranto, he was a genuinely honest and pious man seeking to execute what he thought was God's will. Like William Marshal, he also underwent considerable Historical Hero Upgrade.
- Zig-Zagged with Edward, the Black Prince. He was scrupulously honourable in the treatment of his noble prisoners, including French King John the Good, even giving John permission to go home at one point, as well as delaying the Battle of Poitiers for a day to allow both sides to discuss the battle and Cardinal Périgord to plead for peace. However, he also favoured the chevauchée strategy, which is essentially short-hand for Rape, Pillage, and Burn for reasons of strategic expediency. Basically, as Hark! A Vagrant says, like this◊.
- Geoffroi de Charny, who literally wrote the manual on chivalry was widely regarded in his day as a True and Perfect Knight. His reputation for honesty was such that when captured by the English, he was released on parole to collect his ransom and he found someone to pay it, true to his word. He famously proposed that the Battle of Poitiers in 1356 be settled by a hundred champions from each side to limit loss of life. His proposal was rejected and he died in the battle, defending the sacred Oriflamme banner of France to his last breath.
- Enguerrand VII de Coucy had much the same stature as Charny in the later half of the 14th century. He was given to the English as a hostage to secure the release of King Jean II, who had been captured in the battle of Poitiers, but King Edward III of England was so impressed with his courtesy and character that he allowed him to marry his eldest daughter, Princess Isabel. He later returned all his English lands and titles upon the accession of Richard II. Coucy became the role model for a whole generation of young French knights as an experienced campaigner and paragon of virtue. Finally in 1397, he was wounded and captured in the Battle of Nicopolis against Ottoman Sultan Bayezid I, and died before he could be ransomed.
- Richard I and his Worthy Opponent, Saladin, were both elevated to this status by later popular history, to the point where Saladin became significantly more famous and well regarded in the West than he was in the lands he had once lived.
- Joan of Arc. Although she was never technically a knight, she did wear armor into battle, and lived with an honor worthy of the title.
- Pierre Terrail, seigneur de Bayard, was known in his lifetime as "the knight without fear and beyond reproach" and, to his friends, "the good knight". He served three kings of France with absolute loyalty, unimpeachable courage, chivalry and honour, and exceptional skill in war. Right up until the 20th century the name "Bayard" was a byword for courage and virtue.
- Zawisza the Black was considered to be a model of knightly virtues in Poland in his lifetime and even more after his death. He served two kings, Władysław Jagiełło (of his native Poland) and Sigismund of Luxembourg (the king of Hungary and Holy Roman Emperor). Interestingly, in the Battle of Grunwald, where Sigismund allied with the Teutonic Knights against Poland, he decided that his national identity trumped the commitments to his overlord Sigismund, a sentiment quite innovative in the Middle Ages. Apart from being a jousting champion (in 1421 he defeated Prince John of Aragon at a tourney in the castle of Perpignan), he was also an accomplished diplomat and frequently negotiated peace treaties. He died while fighting Ottoman Turks in Serbia. Even today, in Poland his first name (quite a popular name at the time) is is a shorthand of chivalry and righteousness.