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Lady and Knight

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Brienne: Lady Sansa, I offer my services once again. I will shield your back, and give you counsel, and give my life for yours if need be. I swear it by the old gods and the new.
Sansa: (shaken) And I vow... that you shall always have a place by my hearth, and [...] meat and mead at my table. And... I pledge to ask no service of you, that might bring you dishonor. I swear it by the old gods and the new.

The Lady and Knight is a chivalric image that many of us probably know very well, though perhaps you didn't realize they come in two flavors. A staple in fiction everywhere, the Lady And Knight dynamic is at least Older Than Feudalism, though no doubt that whole era of Romantic adventure stories like Arthurian Legend and Robin Hood perpetuated it. While it is very common in works set in a Medieval era or equivalent fantasy version, they can pop up anywhere but even in modern settings, they are usually meant to invoke that era's ideal image of a Lady and her Knight.

The iconic portrayal is of the Lady as a beautiful, admirable woman with dignity and nobility and The Knight as a strong, brave man of virtue sworn to protect her. The Lady And Knight, while originally female and male respectively, aren't always nowadays and either role can be played by either gender. While there is often a Bodyguard Crush involved, sometimes it's a chaste Courtly Love and in same-sex couple versions, there's less of a chance of romance being involved. In the past, the Lady was often a Damsel in Distress, but now it's nearly as common for the Knight and his Lady to form an Action Duo or Battle Couple.

There are two particular variations of the Lady And Knight dynamic: the Bright Lady and White Knight, a good version, and an Evil Counterpart, the Dark Lady and Black Knight. While the types are fairly distinct, it's not unheard of for Ladies and their Knights to switch from one to the other, should they perform a Heel–Face Turn or Face–Heel Turn. For more information about the two different types, see the Analysis page. Light Liege, Dark Defender is a potential mix-and-match version.

Often there's some sort of ceremony or official pledging, accompanied by the knight giving the Lady a kiss on the hand or kneeling. Sometimes non-historical based works will slip something similar in as a tip-off to the two characters' relationship. In settings that support actual knights being in the work, if the Knight doesn't start off as an actual Knight, he is almost always formally knighted by the end of the work.

Often involves Declaration of Protection. Compare Mistress and Servant Boy which has a similar dynamic, but the Knight is less about serving and doing menial tasks and more about protecting his Lady and his honor. If the servant also happens to be a Battle Butler, however, they may overlap. If there's rescuing going on but none of the courtliness, it's a Rescue Romance.


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Bright Lady and White Knight

    Anime and Manga 
  • Attack on Titan: Unofficial knight imagery is incorporated into Ymir, the stern and brawny protector of angelic-seeming royal heir Krista. (They're listed here because, while more selfishly motivated than they first appear, their actions are generally good or at least neutral.)
  • Ayakashi Triangle: Matsuri is a ninja exorcist who swore to protect Suzu, a very kind person whose nature gives her a sort of authority among ayakashi—Suzu’s ability to command them is what first brought Matsuri’s admiration. Utagawa admiringly calls them “The lady knight protecting her princess.” In the past, Suzu didn't accept his protection, as Matsuri was a distant friend who refused to explain why ayakashi might attack her. After discovering his reasons, Suzu embraces Matsuri's role as her bodyguard, using his general deference toward her as a means to bring them close together.
  • Black Butler: The young witch Sieglinde and her bodyguard Wolfram appear to have a platonic/parental version of this trope, overlapping with Battle Butler.
  • Blame!:
    • Mensab, the AI control system of Toha Heavy Industries, and Seu, her bionically enhanced human muscle. Their designs are clearly meant to evoke this trope, with Seu literally carrying a scified-up European broadsword. Mensab isn't exactly functioning as intended, so whether the two are bright or dark is really up to interpretation.
    • Additionally, the two central characters, Killy and Cibo, are knight and lady respectively. Again, bright or dark is pretty debatable.
  • Bleach invokes the imagery with Ichigo Kurosaki and the two lead female characters, Rukia Kuchiki and Orihime Inoue:
    • First, when Ichigo's home is attacked and Rukia is wounded trying to help him and his family, Rukia unlocks Ichigo's potential powers and gives him the weapons to fight back, leading to him becoming a Shinigami and protecting people like he's always desired. (And one of the persons they both protect is Orihime). Later she's taken away to be executed, leading Ichigo to go rescue her with Orihime (the one who actually came up with the idea), Uryuu and Chad, and him ultimately facing her very powerful brother Byakuya for her sake (incidentally, they find out she was adopted into a noble family).
    • Later, after Rukia is rescued and Soul Society pardons her and acknowledges Ichigo, he fails to keep Orihime from being wounded in an attack, and Rukia then makes him promise to Orihime that he'll become stronger and protect her. He soon has to start filling his word: Orihime is forced to go into Hueco Mundo by the Arrancars, and Ichigo goes to rescue her with Chad, Uryu, Rukia, and Renji in tow. The "Lady and Knight" imagery increases steadily and even Ichigo's rivals repeatedly point out their Bright Lady and White Knight bond.
    Grimmjow: (after deliberately aiming for Orihime and seeing Ichigo shield her) You want to protect her? How sweet.
    Nnoitora: (after his subordinate Tesla takes Orihime away and Ichigo yells at him to let her go) Hilarious! That's the line of someone thinking, as long as the woman is unharmed...
  • Saya and Haji in Blood+, all the way. Saya wavers a bit after the timeskip and slips into Dark Lady but is ultimately a Bright Lady at heart, while Haji remains a White Knight throughout. Blood+ plays this so straight to the point where a human who drinks a queen's blood becomes a chiropteran known as a chevalier (French for knight).
  • From Case Closed:
    • While Ran Mouri is a fairly strong Action Girl, there's an arc involving her as a princess in a School Play that exploits the "princess and knight" symbolism to the hilt with her and The Hero Shinichi Kudo, who is mostly stuck in a child's body (as the titular Conan) but is temporarily back to his real physical age during said arc. Additionally, during Lupin III vs. Detective Conan, Ran daydreams of herself as a princess and Shinichi as her knight.
    • When the already adult Shuichi Akai gave a Declaration of Protection to a little girl named Ai Haibara while masquerading as Subaru Okiya, he explicitly compared her to a princess and himself to a knight that would protect her. Subverted in that there are no romantic undertones because not only Ai is much younger than Akai and is Older Than They Look thanks to a Fountain of Youth, but she is the sister of his dead girlfriend Akemi, who is implied to have asked him to protect Ai before being murdered.
    • Sonoko Suzuki and her boyfriend Makoto Kyougoku are a more informal example. Sonoko is a Genki Girl Ojou with very bad luck, whereas Makoto is a karate champion with downright Super-Strength, and he has protected his "Bright Lady" just like a "White Knight" would several times.
  • Casshern Sins: Janice, the lovely Hope Bringer (Bright Lady) is introduced with a heroic robot bodyguard (White Knight). He is almost immediately killed and his place taken by Casshern.
  • Suzaku Kururugi and Euphemia li Britannia from Code Geass are a literal example: she is the third princess of the Britannian Empire and he is soon knighted by her. She is a Politically-Active Princess trying to create a situation where everyone can coexist peacefully, while he pilots a Knightmare Frame, the Lancelot, to fight unfortunately necessary battles.
  • Angelise Ikaruga Misurugi as the lady and Tusk as her knight from Cross Ange also qualifies. For added bonus, Tusk is an Expy of Kira Yamato.
  • In Destiny of the Shrine Maiden, Himeko and Souma are this: Himeko is the mystical Priestess of the Sun, and Souma is the brave warrior who betrayed Orochi to do the right thing and protect her. The two respect and care for each other deeply but Himeko eventually chooses Chikane as her lover. Souma, to his credit, respects Himeko's decision and remains her Knight.
  • Platonic interspecies example: Miyako/Yolei and Hawkmon from Digimon Adventure 02 are stated to have this relationship, with Hawkmon seeing himself as a knight who loyally protects his human partner at all costs. While the dub downplays this to the point that Hawkmon more or less becomes a Zazu-esque comic relief character, the Japanese version played this straight, with Hawkmon's almost single-minded loyalty being his main character trait in his debut.
  • Digimon Ghost Game has Angoramon as the knight to Ruli's lady, initially swearing to protect Ruli because he liked her music and continuing to do so out of genuine friendship, which takes on some romantic overtones as the series progresses. In fact, it's their friendship that allows him to get stronger and ultimately take on a knightly form. Lamortmon notwithstanding, he's also the most courageous and strong-willed of the main characters without being reckless.
  • In Doctor Slump, Obotchaman considers himself to be the knight for his "lady" Arale. This is often downplayed or subverted because Arale is an android strong enough to face anyone alone, however Obotchaman will always be ready to protect her when necessary and he won't hesitate to defend Arale if he sees someone hurt her. They are also represented like this in one of the endings of the original anime and in the remake Obotchaman after leaving Dr. Mashirito, proclaims to become "the knight of love" for Arale's bright lady.
  • Ellis (Mysterious Waif Lady) and Nadie (Action Girl Knight) from El Cazador de la Bruja, in a Les Yay example.
  • In Fate/Prototype, the story that predated almost everything in the Nasuverse, we have a still not gender flipped Saber aka King Arthur playing this straight with The Protagonist and his mistress, Ayaka Sajyou. Not to mention, his rival Archer aka Gilgamesh (only with less ego) really, really wants Ayaka to be his Bright Lady instead. But after Saber is corrupted and stolen by Sancraid, the one who takes Saber's place as Ayaka's partner is Lancer (aka Cu Chulainn) instead.
  • Flame of Recca: Technically Recca is a Ninja but otherwise fulfills the role of the White Knight by being The Hero and pledging his loyalty and service to Yanagi, who in turn, is a Bright Lady by her compassion. She uses Healing Hands to help others but needs Recca to keep her safe.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist:
    • Gender-flipped example: Roy Mustang is a State Alchemist who aims to bring a new era of justice to Amestris, and Riza Hawkeye has promised to guard his life while he takes up his mission. She's also promised to kill him if he ever becomes like the monsters he's trying to fight and admits that if it came to that, she'd commit suicide right after making good on her word.
    • Also gender-flipped with prince Ling Yao and Lan Fan, one of his two bodyguards. (The other is Fu).
  • Gundam:
    • From Mobile Suit Gundam SEED and its sequels Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny and Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Freedom, Lacus Clyne and Kira Yamato, this is especially prevalent in the sequels. Another pair is present since the end of the first sequel and plays a short but prominent role in the second sequel: Cagalli Yula Athha and Athrun Zala, the former being the leader of her country Orb and the latter being her protector, he is even being associated with the Knight piece.
    • Relena Peacecraft (Lacus' Expy source) and Heero Yuy from Mobile Suit Gundam Wing; they may not contact each other for months at a time, but the nanosecond someone threatens her, he's there to save the day. Afterwards, she works hard for and establishes peace in the world.
    • Gender-flipped as well: Lady Une serves as the front line servant and warrior for Treize Khushrenada, who is a high-ranking noble that rarely steps onto the battlefield himself.
    • From Mobile Fighter G Gundam, Neo France's George DeSand is the Knight to Princess Maria Louise's Lady. She tries to forcibly invoke the trope via staging a fake Hostage Situation, but George notices and calls her out; from then on, they fit in straighter.
    • Mobile Suit Gundam: The Witch from Mercury, Suletta Mercury serves as the Knight to Miorine Rembran's Lady. Though Suletta is also female, she tends to compare herself to the more masculine side of the equation, and fills the traditional knightly role of a warrior who fights for the honor of her maiden. Miorine, meanwhile, is about as classic a Rebellious Princess as one can be without actually technically being a princess (she's a corporate heiress) and sees their relationship as strictly pragmatic at first, but nonetheless grows to love Suletta.
  • Alucard and Integra from Hellsing could fall under this. Integra being a noblewoman (i.e.: Sir Integra Fairbrook Wingates Hellsing) and Alucard being her loyal servant. Granted, Alucard is a pretty vicious Blood Knight to the point where normally he would count as a Dark Knight without question. But thanks to fighting for Integra against monsters worse than him, he can still count as her White Knight. Interestingly enough, Integra did dream of having her own knight by her side as a child, though she ended up with a vampire instead. Though to her luck, said vampire was Dracula, a knight back in the day.
  • Rare gender-flipped example: Hungary (Bright Action Girl aka Knight) and Austria (Princely Young Man, thus he's the "Lady") in Hetalia: Axis Powers. Fanon tends to play it straight if they use their gender-flipped versions aka male!Hungary and female!Austria.
    • Fanon tends to describe a romantic relationship between Taiwan and Japan as this. It's actually more of a ship teased Savvy Guy, Energetic Girl bond in canon.
    • Switzerland and Liechtenstein might fit in, though Switzerland is more Trigger-Happy than most White Knights and Liechtenstein doesn't seem to be in much danger after he adopts her. (That, and he's seen trying to train her into gun handling too.)
    • A sketch on the artist's blog depicts Hungary dressed in a princely garb as the knight and Liechtenstein with long, flowing hair as the lady — in a variation where both are female.
  • Izetta: The Last Witch
    • Finé, the brave, gallant, and charismatic High Queen, protected by her friend Izetta, who happens to be an insanely powerful witch and bears Undying Loyalty to her Princess. As bonus points, Izetta is usually white-clad. As you might have guessed, their relationship produces truckloads of Les Yay.
    • Also, to some extent, there is Bianca, the Captain of Finé's Royal Guard, who is very protective of her Archduchess — to the point of having animosity towards Izetta until she finds out how devoted she is.
  • In keeping with the Galactic Empire's overall Feudal Future imagery and motifs, Siegfried Kircheis and Annerose von Grünewald of Legend of the Galactic Heroes seem to have a subtle version of this relationship going, with Kircheis serving Reinhard at least partly due to a childhood promise he made to look after her little brother in her absence.
  • The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (2005) presents Link's relationship with Zelda in this manner. Link is a boy from a Heroic Lineage of knights chosen by the gods to protect Hyrule and the princess. A lot of the imagery, such as Link bowing to Zelda, is more stereotypical of this trope than in other Zelda works. There are even implications of a Courtly Love between Zelda and Link.
  • Lyrical Nanoha:
  • In Naruto, Hinata is the Lady (of the Hyuga clan, with a gentle nature, especially towards Naruto) to Naruto's Knight (a ninja with an unyielding passion for those he loves, Hinata in particular) of a good variant.
  • Negima! Magister Negi Magi:
    • Konoka Konoe is the Bright Lady (kind and friendly with healing magic) and Setsuna Sakurazaki is her White Knight (serious, devoted, and skilled in swordsmanship). Like Revolutionary Girl Utena, both are female. When visiting the Kyoto Movie Town, they even dress up as a Japanese noblewoman and a samurai.
    • Negi's parents Nagi and Princess Arika were also like this back in the day. Arika even knighted Nagi herself, although he prefers to be addressed as "mage" instead of "knight". He fought many battles on her behalf while she used her royal influence to try and end the war.
  • PandoraHearts has Xerxes Break and Sharon Rainsworth. The former is a literal Knight, once in service to another family until some very bad things happened, and now he serves and protects Sharon. Being a former Serial Killer he is possibly a Dark Knight, but Sharon is very much a white lady. While she may have something of a crush on him, he is also at least thirty years older than she is, and quite probably in love with her mother, who died before the story proper began.
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica has a Les Yay-laced variant with Homura as the Knight to Madoka's Lady, though Homura often acts like a Black Knight serving a Bright Lady. In the finale, the dynamic is somewhat switched around, since Madoka has to realize her potential to save the world, including Homura, and before she becomes a borderline Physical God, Madoka pretty much vows to protect Homura as well as the other magical girls from then on. In the anime's epilogue, Homura has basically become a paladin in service to the new goddess.
  • Played for laughs in the Sleep Incense arc of the Ranma ½ manga. In one of Akane's dreams, she's a princess and has been captured by Shampoo, Ukyo, and Kodachi. After Ranma rescues Akane and swears his eternal allegiance to her, they immediately become Sickeningly Sweethearts. They almost have sex, right before that dream ends and the next one begins. Hilariously ironic, considering that the real Ranma and Akane are chockful of Belligerent Sexual Tension and refuse to physically display any affection for each other.
  • One of Revolutionary Girl Utena' most fundamental subversions of gender roles is the fact that both lady and knight are women. Utena is an outspoken Action Girl who wants to emulate a Knight in Shining Armor she met as a child. Anthy is an Extreme Doormat Damsel in Distress who stays this way for most of the series. Exploited by Akio, who counted on Utena and her chivalrous spirit, showing her Anthy's Fate Worse than Death so Utena would be dragged into the dueling game. Utena is understandably devastated when she finds out, and also realizes that she had played the prince role wrong, protecting Anthy to bolster her own ego without having any real consideration for her lady's feelings. It's only then that Utena starts to genuinely play the role of knight toward Anthy — by vowing to help save her "lady" from her curse, which ends with Utena vanishing from the world, but giving Anthy the courage to call Akio out, walk away from him and Ohtori, take control of her own life, and go search for Utena herself.
  • Sailor Moon:
    • Serenity and Endymion, both royalty as it turns out. They are a special example, in that they retain those positions, yet they flip back on forth on who is being protected, and who is fighting to protect the other.
    • Also, Serenity and the Sailor Senshi — Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, and Venus even form the group known as the Guardian Senshi. In the manga, Mars/Rei even made a chastity oath to Serenity in the past, and remembering it helped her to break from a brief Brainwashed state; on the other hand, Venus/Minako openly declares at some point that she is completely devoted to "her one and only", and while she says no names it's obvious that she refers to Usagi/Moon. Much like with Endymion, Serenity and the Senshi also sometimes flip the script on who comes to rescue whom.
  • In Saint Seiya, Saori had Lady And Knight vibes with the five Saints. However, Seiya was the most vehement in his devotion to her and had the most Bodyguard Crush overtones as well, while the others' bonds to her were more platonic/brotherly than anything. The saints were actually named "knights" in a lot of Westerner dubbing.
    • In the anime, Jabu wants to be Athena's personal "Knight" badly due to having a Bodyguard Crush on her ever since they were kids. Sadly, this isn't touched upon later.
    • Subverted twice in the Asgard saga. Normally Siegfried and Hilda would be this, and the flashbacks show them as such... but since Hilda was Brainwashed and Crazy she and Sieg were more of a Black Knight/Dark Lady duet. At the same time, Hagen wanted to be the White Knight to Freya's Bright Lady, but when Freya became a Defector from Decadence and had these dynamics more or less straight with Hyoga, he went the Black Knight way.
    • Also gender flipped, with Tethys and Julian Solo aka the Soul Jar of Poseidon in the Poseidon saga.
    • In the prequel Saint Seiya: The Lost Canvas, we have Sasha aka the former Athena incarnation and not only her Bronze Saints (Crane Yuzuriha, Unicorn Yato, and Pegasus Tenma) but also Sagittarius Sisyphus.
    • And in the sequel Saint Seiya Omega, in the second season, we have Saori and Seiya on full Lady and Knight role AND, mirroring them, Pallas and Titan as a Dark Lady/Black Knight duet.
  • Snow White with the Red Hair: Obi is dedicated to protecting and aiding Shirayuki, and Zen has him knighted. Shirayuki is the woman Prince Zen intends to marry but as a commoner with uncommon beauty and a job that gives her access to the royal family she is much more easily targeted by a wider array of people than a prince's intended consort generally would be. When she ends up with a job serving the Queen's brother where he can't follow after he's been serving at her side for over two years he doesn't quite know what to do with himself. While Obi does have a Bodyguard Crush on Shirayuki he's too dediated and respectful of Shirayuki and Zen's relationship to act on it beyond admitting it to Zen.
  • Gender-flipped in Tokyo Ghoul:Re, with Shuu Tsukiyama and Lady of War Matsumae. She's even referred to as "Tsukiyama's Knight", wielding her kagune like a sword and shield while protecting the family heir from Investigators. She privately admits that she's always loved him like a little brother, but feels unworthy of expressing such sentiments openly to her master.
  • In Tsukipro The Animation, male idols Rikka and Dai are cast in these roles for a cosmetics commercial. Notably, Rikka has no issue with playing the princess. The episode focuses on Dai's insecurity about whether or not his performance can be worthy of co-starring with Rikka. It's also the case that many of the idol units have this sort of dynamic with the leaders and their partners — all male/male or female/female pairs, though.
  • In Wolf Guy - Wolfen Crest, Akira Inugami is the very furry, bitter and hurting White Knight (sorta) to Akiko Aoshika's gorgeous and kind-hearted but emotionally broken Bright Lady.
  • Yona of the Dawn has Yona and Hak. She is the deposed Crown Princess while he is the former General of the Wind Tribe. While Hak is terrifying when angry, there's never any doubt that the handsome and loyal man is a White Knight. He is even in love with her, and only her, even before he became her guard. As for Yona, she is very definitely a Bright Lady, and although she starts out as a Damsel in Distress, she does NOT stay there, quickly moving to a Damsel out of Distress, gradually becoming an Action Girl. For her part, she is fond of Hak, but not in the same way, at first. After they become aware that their feelings are mutual, politics renders them unable to act on it, resulting in a little Courtly Love.
  • Yuureitou has Taichi Amano and Tetsuo Sawamura as a rare male/male version: Tetsuo acts as the chivalrous knight that protects Taichi from any danger, while Taichi finds himself oddly attracted to Tetsuo's manly chivalry. They become a couple in the end.

    Comic Books 
  • Sleepless features the Lady Poppy and Sir Cyrenic. Poppy is technically the illegitimate daughter of the deceased king of Harbeny, but she is widely beloved in the kingdom and her father made sure to grant her an estate and a title that make her an official Lady of the court. Sir Cyrenic is her loyal bodyguard, a knight who has sworn a magical oath that binds him to protect her.

    Fan Works 

    Film — Animation 
  • Lady and the Tramp: Lady's role is obvious by her name. Tramp acts as protector when she gets lost in the streets, but is at first reluctant to help her back to her home, as he is leery of humans; in a way, he's also trying to protect her from what he perceives is the shackles of domesticity. His irresponsibility gets Lady in trouble when they raid a chicken coop and she gets taken to the pound, and what she learns about his past there leads to a falling out. He redeems himself by saving Darling and Jim Dear's baby from a rat and eventually warms up to domestic life and becomes a White Knight.
  • Shrek plays with both roles. At first, Fiona acts the part of Damsel in Distress because of convention but proves time and time again to be able to defend herself. Likewise, Shrek is only acting as the knight for his own selfish reasons, and has no romantic or chivalrous intentions towards Fiona, at first. He eventually does fall in love with her.
  • In Sleeping Beauty, Prince Phillip is the White Knight to Princess Aurora's White Lady.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland (2010) has Mirana, the White Queen, for its Bright Lady. She actually has two Knights, one being Alice as the presumed hero foretold by prophecy; the other is Tarrant aka the Mad Hatter, although his 'knighthood' is more implied than outright stated.
  • Dragonheart has the literal knight Bowen and Kara, the rebellious peasant girl with whom he falls in love. Their holding these roles to each other is made more explicit in the novelization of the movie.
  • Ladyhawke has Navarre and his lady Isabeau, with the twist that they are cursed to be a wolf by night and a hawk by day, respectively. Further, Navarre is a disgraced Captain in black armor, though it was due to a frame-up by the evil Bishop who cursed them.
  • An Officer and a Gentleman: The 1980s made and set film was partially conceived as an update of the Lady and Knight trope, with the hero riding a motorcycle, in his navy whites, to rescue the lady from the drudgery of factory work.
  • The Princess Bride: In the beginning, Buttercup was haughty and arrogant (mostly due to her thinking her beloved Wesley is dead), but she grew into her role later; Wesley being her Knight.
  • Star Wars: Lady Padmé Amidala, benevolent queen/senator looking out for her people, and Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker, leading the Senate's troops against the Republic's enemies. Until he turns dark.

  • The Asterisk War: Julis Riessfeld is the Bright Lady and Ayato Amagiri is her White Knight. Ayato even says his purpose in life is to protect Julis.
  • Avalon High resolves canon problems by Cleaning Up Romantic Loose Ends: the modern reincarnation of King Arthur becomes a couple with the Lady of the Lake. While he fends off the forces of darkness, she provides him comfort, Excalibur, and meta knowledge about how best to twist their story in this cycle.
  • A very weird example exists in Baccano! with Ladd Russo and Lua Klein. Ladd has traits of the white knight (attraction to Lua because of her gentle personality, protects her at the cost of his arm and is engaged to her) but he's an Ax-Crazy psychopath who keeps Lua safe because he wants to kill her last. Lua would be a bright lady (beauty, innocence, emotional support for her knight) if she weren't almost completely passive, making no effort to restrain any of Ladd's murderous impulses and possibly looking forward to the day he kills her.
  • The Belgariad, being a deliberate hotbed of fantasy tropes, has this more than once:
    • Sir Mandorallen of Vo Mandor is a White Knight with two Bright Ladies; he is devoted to the Baroness of Vo Ebor, but is also sworn to defend Ce'Nedra as the Queen's Champion. (He's also quite desperately in love with the former, but his affection for Ce'Nedra is entirely platonic.)
    • In Polgara the Sorceress, one of the prequels, Polgara herself is the White Lady to Count Ontrose's Bright Knight. (That one is mutual, but Destiny wasn't having it. It does take her a couple of thousand years to fall in love again, though.)
  • Among the Blood of the Black Jewels universe, women usually rule while men are expected to do most of the non-magical fighting. The Blood's governmental structure depends on the formation of Lady and Knight dynamics between the Queen and the highest-ranking males of her court.
  • Campione!: Genderflipped example between Godou and two of the members of his Unwanted Harem, Erica and Liliana (both of whom are Magic Knights to boot). Once of Erica's main goals is to make Godou into a true king as a Campione, but she's clearly more interested in being able to have him as her lover/future husband. Liliana, on the other hand, tries to prioritize her role as Godou's knight, despite obviously having feelings for him as well.
  • Technically it would be 'Captain and Supply Officier' but Lafiel and Jinto from Crest of the Stars fulfill the spirit of the trope. He defers to and protects her, while she is a princess with a drive to serve her empire. On the other hand, since Jinto is arguably The Quisling, his fellow humans see them as the darker variety.
  • Date A Live: Its whole premise is that Shido Itsuka has to make the Spirits fall in love with him in order to seal their powers and give them normal lives, becoming the White Knight to all of them. Most of the Spirits are Bright Ladies, but Kurumi Tokisaki is a Dark Lady instead.
  • Denpa Teki na Kanojo: Inverted, Juuzawa Juu is a King (the Lady), good looking, admirable guy with dignity and nobility that inspires everyone around him, even his enemies, and Ochibana Ame is The Knight as a strong, brave girl of virtue sworn to protect him.
  • Don Quixote is a Deconstructive Parody of this trope, since Don Quijote is a dirt poor nobleman who who is so obsessed with chivalric novels that he's lost a few screws and decided that he is a vagrant knight. As for the fair lady, well, she does not even exist! He created his sweet lady in his head just because of The Dulcinea Effect.
  • Dragonlance has human knight Sturm Brightblade and elven princess Alhana Starbreeze have a brief star-crossed romance when he rescues her from dragons and she gives him a sacred starjewel as a favor.
  • The Dresden Files has a bizarre example made horrifying by the circumstances: Harry Dresden, Winter Knight and Molly Carpenter, Winter Lady. Not only does she have unrequited feelings for him, but he's her teacher. Again. But now she has magical influence over his mind (it's unclear what side of the trope they fall on). Fix, Summer Knight and Lily, Summer Lady are a much more benevolent example.
  • Sparhawk and Ehlana in The Elenium trilogy are this in the most literal of senses; Ehlana is Queen of Elenia, and Sparhawk is the Queen's Champion (and later husband).
  • The Familiar of Zero has noblewoman Louise and her Knight Saito. While bratty to begin with, she eventually matures into a Bright Lady and Saito shows great courage and devotion as her White Knight (if a little perverted).
  • Fate/Zero:
    • This is the dynamic between Irisviel and Saber. Irisviel says so. She's basically an Einzbern princess with a huge heart and Saber is literally a Knight in Shining Armor. This is to contrast the other half of team Einzbern.
    • Sola-Ui wants to be this with her fiancé Kayneth's Servant, Lancer and for this reason she steals Kayneth's command seals so that she will be his liege lord. Lancer is most certainly a White Knight given that his only motivation for fighting in the Grail War is to loyally serve his master while she is darker given the above spoiler.
  • Full Metal Panic! is a comedic take on the dynamic. Sousuke has every intention of fulfilling his duty as the ever-faithful White Knight to Kaname's Bright Lady, but he has absolutely no experience outside of being a soldier and the Bright Lady he's been assigned to protect is an Ordinary High-School Student. The end result is that he often ends up valiantly "protecting" her from mundane annoyances with wildly excessive force.
  • Heavy Object has the (E)lite pilot Milinda and the engineer Quenser. Milinda's job is to be the keystone of the army, and Quenser's job is to go out and sabotage anything she can't blow away with her superior firepower. Naturally, they fall in love.
  • The House of Night series adores this tropenote . Nearly all Love Confessions, if requited, are followed by the man swearing eternal love and fealty to the woman.
  • Julie Kagawa's The Iron Fey: In The Iron Queen, Ash swears a Knight's Oath to Meghan.
  • Subverted in The Irregular at Magic High School. The imagery of it is used when Tatsuya is made Miyuki's Guardian, but both of them know he's a slave who had no choice in the matter.
  • Ivanhoe has protagonist Wilfred of Ivanhoe and the Lady Rowena playing this straight. Antagonist Brian de Bois-Guilbert would likewise want nothing more than to be able to be the Knight to a rather unwilling Rebecca's Lady towards the end, never mind that she's neither noble nor even Christian, but it ends rather less well for him.
  • In John Carter of Mars the titular character has this dynamic with his love interest Dejah Thoris. He is a Virginian gentleman who got mysteriously transported to Mars where he gains super-strength and agility and she is a Red Martian princess, proud, brave, highly aristocratic and always holds her resolve, despite being frequently placed in both mortal danger and the threat of being dishonored by the lust of villains.
    • Happens several times throughout the series. Culturally, a formal proposal of marriage and an oath of fealty take the same form: that of throwing your sword to the ground at a person's feet. The romantic version is especially notable with Carthoris and Thuvia, Gahan and Tara, Pan Dan Chee and Llana, and Vad Varo and Valla Dia. At one point shortly after Carter and Dejah Thoris meet, he says to her "my sword is at your feet"; she realizes he's unaware of the implications and is therefore mostly amused by this.
  • Journey to Chaos:
    • Princess Kasile Landros Ataidar is a Bright Lady with several White Knights. While she does her Politically-Active Princess thing to improve the lives of her subjects, she is often a target by bad guys or court rivals. Both Siron Esrah and Culmus Stratos are brave and noble warriors who protect her, and both of them have been her boyfriend (though not at the same time). However, the one she relies on the most, Eric Watley, is more like her big brother. During Mana Mutation Menace, one of the villains attacks her with a dragon golem and taunts her with how she never wins her own battles.
    • Annala invokes this trope in order to save Eric from The Grim Reaper (long story). Basically, The reaper made a bet with a trickster that Eric would not relapse into a savage monster mindset after recovering from mana mutation. After an incident of savagery, Annala says that he was not acting like a savage monster but a more noble creature called "A lady's knight" because he was protecting her.
  • The Lady of Shalott is adapted from chivalric legends of King Arthur, and the pairing is alluded to when the Lady sees a group of knights pass by. The narrator notes that "she hath no loyal knight and true", yet another consequence of her isolation.
  • This is a core aspect of the story in the light novel Lance N Masques. Youtarou is a young knight who's sworn to protect his "lady" Makio, the 6-year-old daughter of the head of a major corporation. While many of the most powerful knights in the world are women and many are charged with protecting and supporting men, the ideal remains a "Knight" protecting a "Princess", making sure that whatever path she chooses he clears that path of obstacles, while the "Princess" in turn commits to choosing the right path and becoming someone the knight can be honored to serve.
  • The Locked Tomb has the House heirs and their cavaliers, who all have their own take on the trope. The central pairing is Harrow, the Reverend Daughter and princess of the Ninth House, and Gideon, a Master Swordswoman who she blackmailed into acting as her cavalier. They start out absolutely despising each other, but the events of Canaan House force them to grow closer until they're a perfect example of this trope. Then Gideon pulls a Heroic Sacrifice so Harrow can use her soul to survive, at which point their relationship gets very, very complicated.
  • Princess Andromeda and Sir George in One Good Knight. Subverted in that they're both new to the roles; further subverted because Sir George is a woman and neither of them wants the Rescue Romance that the magic in the land is trying to force on them.
  • As noted in the film section, The Princess Bride has this with Westley and Buttercup. Buttercup's personal growth from stuck-up brat to more deserving of the Bright Lady title is much more prominent in the book.
  • In Rachel Griffin, Sigfried (aged fourteen), swears fealty to princess Nastasia Romanov of Magical Australia (also aged fourteen).
  • Saint George and the Dragon: Una is a gentle, beautiful princess who gets the knight to slay a dragon who has been terrorizing her father's kingdom. He (who's the future Saint George) is a brave, steadfast man who keeps his vow to her and also the Fairy Queen who he's sworn six years of service. They end up married with him inheriting the crown, though not before he's fulfilled that vow.
  • The Silver Chair: Prince Rilian and the Green Lady appear as such a pair at first, with the Knight initially appearing as the Lady's silent companion and then as her lover in the underground kingdom. In truth, he's under heavy brainwashing.
  • Song at Dawn: In this setting, it should be expected: there are formal oaths of fealty from White Knights to Bright Ladies, play-acting oaths that are nonetheless emotionally binding, and a contrast between the business end of the relationship and the more intimate aspect. Dragonetz, in particular, is a very popular white knight. By the end of the story, three ladies are vying for him.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire:
    • Daenerys Targaryen and Jorah Mormont are this up until the third book. But like everything else with the series, it's deconstructed. Daenerys only loves Jorah as a friend and possible father figure while Jorah's love for Dany comes across as overtly lustful and possessive and may even be him projecting his feelings for his first wife onto Dany.
    • Also applies to Daenerys's relationship with Ser Barristan Selmy, although there's nothing romantic about it on either side; nonetheless, he still definitely functions as the Knight to her Lady.
    • A two-female version is found in Brienne and Catelyn, which may cross over into Tomboy and Girly Girl.
    • Ser Arys Oakheart in A Feast for Crows serves as a White Knight for two different Bright Ladies: Myrcella Baratheon and Arianne Martell. The former case is purely platonic given that Myrcella is a little girl that Arys was charged to protect, while he is seduced by the latter to assist her in her plots. While she is more of a Femme Fatale than a Proper Lady, Arianne herself isn't truly evil and means well all things considered, so she doesn't qualify as the "Dark Lady" version of this trope. After Arys' death, Ser Daemon Sand replaces him for Arianne as her sworn shield and is undeniably loyal to her.
  • In The Sunne in Splendour Richard of Gloucester and Anne Neville are this, with him staying devoted to her through her forced marriage to his enemy and later fighting for her hand when his brother tried to keep her from him.
  • Played with and Gender Flipped in the Tortall Universe with Lady Knight Alanna and King Jonathon. Jon, a trained and blooded knight who is also Gifted with magic is perfectly capable of defending himself. Being that he is the Crown Prince and eventually becomes king, he is not often allowed to. At one point, one of his generals has to strongly suggest that Jon and his queen please stop visiting areas affected by a war and go somewhere safe so that he can concentrate on the war effort and not have to worry about their safety. Alanna, as his squire and later the first lady knight in over a century, therefore functions as his protector when she isn't off dispensing Royal Justice.
  • Undefeated Bahamut Chronicle has Lux Arcadia fulfilling both sides of the trope. First, he is the White Knight to four different Bright Ladies: Lisesharte Atismata, Celestia Ralgris, Philuffy Aingram and Krulcifer Einfolk. He’s also the Bright Lord and Yoruka Kirihime is his Black Knight.
  • Vampire Academy has Lissa as the Bright Lady (Princess, angelic-looking, kind, graceful, intelligent but physically weak and in need of protection) and Rose as her White Knight protector (devoted to her since their childhood, acts as The Champion to her), from all threats. There's nothing romantic about it.
  • In The Wheel of Time, this is the purpose of the bond between Warders and Aes Sedai. This is also a case of Sword and Sorcerer. Note that while the Aes Sedai are eminently powerful in political circles, most of their members are not nobles in a technical sense.
    • Notable examples include former Queen of Andor Morgase Trakand and Tallanvor (althought not warder-bounded), former Amyrlin Seat Suian Sanche and Gareth Bryne, Egwene and Gawain, Elayne (who later becomes queen) and Rand, and Tuon, a high ranking Seanchan noble, and Matt (also not warder-bounded).
    • Another notable example from The Wheel of Time are Moiraine and Lan, both of them high-ranking nobles themselves and the first Aes Sedai-Warder-pair introduced. They are a straighter than usual example because Moiraine was posing as a regular noblewoman.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Angel and Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • Angel is actually like this in general, taking pride in helping "damsels in distress" or anyone else who needs his help. He's served as a loyal Knight in Shining Armor to Buffy, Cordelia, Faith, and even Fred. He accidentally kills a lady's knight (thinking he was a bad guy), and has to take his place in a joust for her unborn baby's soul. Chivalry goes far when it comes to him.
    • Spike, who originally starts out as a Black Knight serving Dark Lady Drusilla, before eventually becoming a sort of White Knight to Buffy herself in later seasons.
    • Willow is extremely protective of Tara and Buffy. (The latter in a strictly Mixed-Orientation Life Partners / The Not-Love Interest way.) It's rather interesting because in both cases, Willow is much more like a Black Knight protecting a Bright Lady.
  • Only partial in Babylon 5: Marcus Cole is knightly but Ivanova is not particularly ladylike, at least not in the classic sense.
    • A better example would be Captain Sheridan and Delenn. While Sheridan isn't strictly a knight, he is a very idealistic military officer, and Delenn, a former member of the Grey Council and the in later seasons the closest thing Minbar has to a Queen (and a very determined Lady of War to boot).
  • The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance: Deet isn't a noblewoman — though she poses as one at one point and she's The Chosen One — but aspiring Paladin Hup still swears to defend and assist her on her quest to warn the All-Maudra of the Darkening.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • This dynamic exists between the beautiful Daenerys Targaryen and the valiant Ser Jorah Mormont, though for the first half of the first season he is also The Mole. And later Ser Barristan Selmy when he joins her Queensguard in Season 3 in a non-romantic example.
    • Renly Baratheon is the handsome and gentle king who is guarded by two highly skilled and brave knights: Brienne of Tarth (a non-knight gender inversion of the trope) and Ser Loras Tyrell (a romantic same-sex variation).
    • After Renly is assassinated, Brienne then serves the gracious Lady Catelyn Stark (another same-sex version though this time non-romantic), and in that capacity, serves as both guardian and (Justified) Damsel in Distress to the crippled knight Jaime Lannister. She later becomes the sworn word of Catelyn's daughter Lady Sansa after Catelyn's murder.
    • After rebuffing her once, a timely rescue from recapture by Ramsey Bolton's men-at-arms convinces Sansa to exchange oaths with Brienne of Tarth, making them a Lady and (woman) Knight, which is ironic considering Sansa grew up in love with chivalric romances.
    • The beautiful maiden Sansa Stark is physically and mentally abused by her Jerkass prince and his knights but is protected by the disfigured anti-knight Sandor Clegane and the drunken fool Dontos Hollard.
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power: While Elendil never makes a pledge to Queen Miriel on screen, their dynamic on screen displays elements of this trope. She is his queen and he is a sea captain in her service. They develop an intimate friendship marked by mutual respect and trust over the course of the first season. Elendil is very protective with Miriel, acts as her confidant, guards her secret of blindness and assists her in navigating her limitations.
  • Despite being a servant girl and a mercenary, Guinevere and Lancelot from Merlin are a stunningly accurate example of this trope, especially now that they've begun to grow into their legendary counterparts.
  • Tin Man: Played as completely straight as the setting permits. The titular Tin Man, Wyatt Cain, is ordered by his former boss, The Mystic Man, to protect DG Aka Princess Dorothy "at all costs." Wyatt is an Honor Before Reason sort, and first accepts because of loyalty to The Mystic Man, but eventually becomes close enough to her to honor the vow for her sake.
  • The White Queen: Anne Neville is a Princess through her first marriage and a Damsel in Distress to Richard of Gloucester's valiant and courteous Knight in Shining Armor. Their courtship consists of him protecting her from danger and coming to her aid when she loses her freedom. Richard's devotion to Anne is notable because in each scenario, no one else is willing to assist her, so he's the classic romantic hero from the viewpoint of his cherished lady.

    Myths & Religion 
  • Multiple examples in Arthurian Legend, but amongst the most notable would be Gareth and Lynette (where, oddly, they end up marrying each others' siblings).


    Video Games 
  • In The Alliance Alive, young swordsman Galil is sworn to protect Azura, his Childhood Friend and the rebel leader's daughter. Azura's dream of making the world better is what initiates the game's plot, and Galil's devotion to her dream is what initiates it. Notably, both feel responsible for Azura getting blinded, but in different ways: Galil blames himself for not being good enough to prevent it, and Azura blames herself because they wouldn't have trespassed in the first place if she hadn't cajoled Galil into doing it.
  • BlazBlue:
    • Ragna is technically this toward Rachel, the latter being a proper noblewoman and having saved his life and granted him the power he currently holds. However, Ragna is an Anti-Hero and has absolutely no interest in serving under Rachel and works towards his own goals. There's also a lot of bickering involved between the two. Ragna does eventually come around and starts to reluctantly, play this straight.
    • Played straight with Jin and Tsubaki, though they're both technically royalty being a part of two high-ranking noble families.
    • Also played straight with Naoto and Rachel, though she treats him more like a servant than a knight.
  • The Fair Lady and the Chosen Undead in Dark Souls, should you join the Chaos Servant covenant. The Fair Lady is quite unambiguously a Bright Lady, being one of the most selfless and noble characters in the entire game (for the record: she sacrificed her health for the sake of random townspeople after becoming a monster most people would run screaming from), but the Chosen Undead, being a Featureless Protagonist, can be both a White and a Black Knight, depending on how you play. Kirk, Knight of Thorns, is a much clearer example of a Black Knight serving a Bright Lady, as he invades other worlds in the guise of a Darkwraith to harvest their Humanity — and gives it all to heal the Fair Lady back in his own world.
    • There are shades of it with the Chosen Undead and Reah. Though she is initially dismissive of you, you can save her from danger multiple times, and she grows very attached to you. Sadly, her storyline can only end in tragedy. If you leave Petrus, who previously abandoned her to die, alive, he will kill her while you are away. If you stop that potential end and buy all her miracles she has available, she will eventually get trapped in Seath's Library, where she will go hollow. The only way to keep her alive to the end is to not buy all her miracles.
  • Maiden Astraea and Garl Vinland in Demon's Souls. This dynamic did not change even after she suffered a Crisis of Faith when the Fog arrived and became a Demon. She's still providing comfort to the needy, and he is still her devoted guardian. Should the player kill one of them, the other will commit suicide out of grief. Sadly, you do have to kill them to continue.
  • In the Dishonored series, This was the arrangement between Corvo Attano and Jessamine Kaldwin; Royal Protector to the Crown Princess of the Empire. As the girl grew into a woman and Empress, and the young man grew into a true adult and master swordsman, it became an Open Secret that the two were romantically entwined, and that Jessamine's daughter Emily was sired by Corvo.
  • Dragon Age:
    • Alistair, in Dragon Age: Origins, will behave this way toward a female Warden if his romance arc is pursued. The relationship is really more like Knight and Knight considering many female Wardens are warriors, but he acts like a White Knight in the service of a Bright Lady. It can be played almost entirely straight if you make the player character a mage specced for healing.
    • Additionally, if male and romancing Morrigan, he acts as either a White Knight or a Black Knight to her Dark Lady, vowing to protect her and even killing a dragonnote  to save her. And then he spends a year looking for her.
    • If the male Warden is of Human Noble origin, it's possible to end up as this if you pursue to marry Queen Anora. Anora would handle the political side of things behind-the-scenes while the male Warden, who's now Ferelden's King, does all the frontline fighting.
    • If the Inquisitor is female and romances Cullen or Blackwall, there are aspects of this trope to their relationship in Dragon Age: Inquisition. Both gentlemen will even address her as "my lady" (Cullen only once, Blackwall often). A male Inquisitor can invoke shades of it in his romance with Cassandra, owing to her love of chivalry and romantic ideals. An Inquisitor of either gender experiences some aspects of the trope when romancing Josephine, even going so far as to duel a rival for her favor.
  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim:
    • Jarl Balgruuf and his housecarl Irileth are a chaste, gender-flipped version.
    • The player character can have this sort of relationship (albeit a platonic one) with Serana if the Dawnguard DLC is installed.
  • This is a game mechanic in EXA_PICO games, with Reyvateils and their vanguards. The former sing Music Magic (basically) inspired by her love for her vanguard while the latter protects their Reyvateil partner in battle and supports her emotionally outside of it. It's also the reason why Cocona is so awesome: she's a Reyvateil, but she's also a vanguard.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Cecil and Rosa in Final Fantasy IV. Cecil rescues her a bunch of times and is protective of her, though it's worth observing that Rosa is just as invested in protecting him, having learned White Magic specifically to do it.
    • Final Fantasy VIII has Rinoa and Squall — although it's worth noting that it's mostly Rinoa keeping them on the "bright" side of the archetype; Squall makes it very clear that he does not care much about morality as far as keeping Rinoa safe is concerned. "Sorceress Knight" is actually treated as an official position by Edea and Cid Kramer who are also a somewhat unorthodox example pair; he's not by any means a fighter (at least now that he is older), but he does everything he can to protect Edea and support her emotionally. Late in the story, there's an optional scene where Edea advises a newly-minted sorceress, Rinoa that the best way of dealing with her situation is to find a knight who will "protect her heart." Cid and Edea also theorize that the evil sorceresses, Adel and Ultimecia, probably did not have Sorceress Knights who loved them.
    • Final Fantasy XII has Princess Ashe and literal knight Basch, who has sworn to protect her, although she's more of an Anti-Hero than the usual Bright Lady. They aren't a couple, though there is some Ship Tease.
    • Dissidia Final Fantasy: This is the dynamic between Cosmos, the Goddess of Harmony, and her champion the Warrior of Light.
    • Final Fantasy XIV: The leaders of the city state of Ul'Dah. Nanamo the kind-hearted sultana and her army commander Raubahn, a former champion gladiator.
  • Fire Emblem loves this trope:
    • Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light: Nyna and Camus. Sorta. It's WAY more complicated in the end.
    • Also, Sheema and Samson in Mystery of the Emblem.
    • Genealogy of the Holy War: Edain and Midir, Lachesis and Finn, especially if following the Oosawa manga. There's another gender-flipped example: Erinys (Knight) and Lewyn (Lord)
    • Miranda and Connomore in Thracia 776. Her ending only says she married "a certain knight", but the only one who fits in such a description is Connomore. Also, Olwen and Fred.
    • The Binding Blade, Clarine's Well, Excuse Me, Princess! nature brings this up in her supports with Lance. In the meantime, her older brother Klein manages to gender-flip this with the Pegasus Knight Thite.
    • Lyndis and Kent in The Blazing Blade. To a smaller degree, Eliwood and Ninian (she isn't royalty, but he has sworn to help and protect both her and her brother Nils), as well as Priscilla and either of her love interests. Though only Erk manages to marry her. Jaffar and Nino aren't royalty (unless you count him being a high-ranked Black Fang member and her being the adoptive daughter of the leader), but otherwise they fit in perfectly. Also, despite neither being nobility, Dorcas and his wife Natalie count in perfectly — so much that Dorcas refuses to actually become a Knight when Oswin tells him to join the Ostian military, because he will only pledge loyalty to his beloved wife.
    • Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones: Eirika and both Seth and Forde. Played with in regards to Tana and Cormag, as he doesn't become her Knight unless one gets their shared ending. Natasha and both Seth and Joshua are milder versions of this and since Joshua is a Rebel Prince, it's subverted. Gender-flipped with Vanessa and Innes.
    • Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance: Elincia and Geoffrey. Even more so if the player gets them hitched and ultimately married via an A Support in Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn.
    • Fire Emblem: Awakening: Genderflipped by both Chrom/either Sully or Sumia (Prince of Ylisse and Cavalier/Pegasus Knight from his realm) and Virion/Cherche (former duke of the fallen country of Rosane and his faithful ex-retainer). Gender-flipped and subverted with Chrom/Cordelia, as the latter does not get together with him as she thinks their relationship won't work. Played straighter with Frederick/Lissa (retainer of the Ylisse royalty and Chrom's little sister — doubling as First Love since Frederick was Lissa's first crush), Lissa/Lon'qu (Valmese warrior specifically tasked with guarding Lissa, at least in their supports), and Gaius/Maribelle (Lovable Rogue and Ojou with a rather complicated shared past). Probably, also Henry/Maribelle (Creepy Good Blood Knight who, if he declares his love to her, offers to be her knight in bloodstained armor).
    • Fire Emblem Fates: Each of the princes and princesses of Nohr (morally grey kingdom with many kindhearted people, that the Avatar fights to reform) and Hoshido (former war-like state that is now pacifistic and needs the Avatar's help to keep peace) has two personal retainers and fulfills the trope with them in one way or another. The Avatar him/herself is a badass prince or princess so he/she has their own personal retainers who fight by his/her side: Jakob, Felicia, Kaze, and Silas join him or her no matter what path is chosen, Gunther and Flora join in under certain circumstances, and Shura can potentially join in all paths should his life be spared.
    • Fire Emblem: Three Houses gives us Petra and Ashe in their paired ending, with Petra establishing an order of knights for Ashe to lead when she inherits her throne. Dimitri and Ingrid's paired ending is a gender-flipped version. Rhea and Jeralt appear to have had this relationship in the Backstory.
  • Cruelly invoked in Gems of War by Princess Elspeth, Princess of the High Elves of Silverglade: her magic allows her to sacrifice another random creature in your party to summon a random Knight unit. even units she has just summoned.
  • In Granblue Fantasy, this dynamic plays out with two female duos, with Katalina as the devoted protector to Lyria and the Black Knight as the devout knight for Princess Orchis, willing to go to the ends of the sky to protect her friend. The latter pair plays this trope early in the story as they both wear dark clothing, and have access to Dark magic. But despite their appearance and abilities, the Black Knight and Orchis are not actually villains and became Promoted to Playable.
  • ICO: Yorda as the Bright Lady princess with Ico as her White Knight who escorts her out of the castle.
  • Pit and Palutena in Kid Icarus: Uprising. Granted, she does occasionally like to tease him, but Pit's main motivation is his service to "Lady Palutena" and her ideals of light and goodness — even when others disparage him for acting like little more than an errand boy (though he's in fact captain of her guard).
  • Kyo Kusanagi and his girlfriend Yuki in The King of Fighterss Orochi Saga. More specifically, in KOF 97, which reveals that Yuki is the last descendant of one of the Eight Kushinadas, a group of legendary Barrier Maidens who were ritually sacrificed to bring back Orochi into this world — except for one, which totally ruined the awakening ritual. 1800 years later, Yuki becomes a target of the Orochis who now want to re-awaken Orochi itself; her boyfriend Kyo learns about it from Yashiro, Shermie and Chris, and he is NOT pleased. In the Sacred Treasure Team's ending, when Kyo is contacted by the spirit of the Yasakani, the other thing they ask him for (aside from sealing Orochi with Iori and Chizuru) is to protect "Kushinada" aka Yuki. He does both things, and Yuki is saved.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • Link and Princess Zelda fit this in most if not all of their incarnations, where the former is (usually) a middle/lower-class swordsman hero defending the latter and/or her kingdom from an evil threat. Some games emphasize this aspect of their relationship more than others, such as the original game, A Link to the Past, Twilight Princess (though this one's complicated; see below), Spirit Tracks, Skyward Sword, and Breath of the Wild. The latter is of note, as Link is explicitly Zelda's appointed knight, sworn to protect her at all costs.
    • In Twilight Princess, Link is the knight to another princess (Midna who's closer to Dark Lady, at least at first), who even lampshades it once or twice. Also an example of Royals Who Actually Do Something, as she is a very competent Dark Lady.
  • In Persona 3, Mitsuru's first friend and teammate was Akihiko, who complements her ice spells with old-fashioned punching. He's the only one of her peers who isn't alienated by her status (at least until the protagonist shows up), but he still respects her authority.
  • The Pokémon Gardevoir and Gallade have this theme going on, with the lady being the feminine Gardevoir and the knight being the masculine Gallade. Played With in that Gardevoir has a 50/50 chance of being male and is powerful in its own right. In fact, the Pokédex for both Gardevoir and Gallade describe them as showing Undying Loyalty to their trainer, making it possible for Gardevoir to play the Knight for its trainer. Gardevoir's name in Japanese is even Sirknight.
  • Radiant Historia has one of the characters actually joking about how Stocke is basically Eruca's knight. It's a better comparison than they knew — while the two of them had just met in that timeline, in the other one he'd abandoned his country to help her, saved her life numerous times, and done a lot of the work of winning her throne back for her.
  • Radiata Stories: Jack appoints himself Ridley's White Knight on the Fairy path and not only protects her but lifts her spirits with endearingly corny jokes. in personality, they're the Bright couple but to the humans, they're the dark couple yet Gerald praises him for having the balls to turn against his entire race for the sake of his girl. For her part, Ridley is a Bright Lady ojou who is trying to do what she thinks is right, and is grateful for Jack's support.
  • Mario and Princess Peach from Super Mario Bros.. Mario is not a knight by job but otherwise plays the trope straight.
  • Star Wars: The Old Republic:
    • Corso Riggs wants to be this for the female Smuggler, but the Smuggler isn't terribly ladylike. A male Smuggler can try being this for Risha, but she doesn't really buy it.
    • Doc is a Ladykiller in Love who would like to be this for the female Jedi Knight, but it ends up being a gender inversion (she is the Knight, after all).
    • Lt. Felix Iresso, a Republic soldier, and a Light-Sided female Jedi Consular come the closest to playing it straight, but the Consular technically is also a knight (just one who spends a lot of time in diplomatic missions and exploring ancient secrets).
    • The Empire gets in on the action, too. A light-sided Bounty Hunter, a character class that uses heavy armor and can equip their suit with blades, can count as a rough-and-ready take on this with Mako, the sweet healer companion.
    • A light-sided Sith Warrior can go for this with a light-sided Jaesa Willsaam. You, the surprisingly moral knight in polished black armor; her, the former Jedi turned moral Sith; the two of you intend to reform the Empire from the outside in, with a platonic relationship between you.
    • A gender-flipped variation can be done with a light-sided male Sith Sorcerer and Ashara Zavros: you're a Sith who knows where to draw the line and she's a former Jedi who believes that sometimes you have to cross it.
  • Street Fighter: Ken Masters and his wife Eliza fits this trope, especially in the Ties that Bind OAV, when a pregnant Eliza is kidnapped by Crimson Viper and Ken comes up with some of his biggest displays of badassery ever to save her and their unborn kid.
  • Tales Series:
    • In Tales of Symphonia, Collette serves as the Bright Lady who wants to save the world and Lloyd is the White Knight that wants to protect her from everybody, including herself.
    • Tales of Vesperia:
      • Estelle and Flynncount, though the fact she keeps slipping from his watch could count as a subversion.
      • Estelle and Yuri would probably be an example of Bright Lady and Black Knight. She's the naïve Wide-Eyed Idealist, while he's the roguish Vigilante Man. However, he becomes fiercely protective of her mere moments after they meet and only becomes more so as time goes on. He may not be a literal knight anymore, but he certainly fits the bill.
    • Tales of Arise:
      • Dohalim and Kisara are a twist on this trope: a lord and a female knight who are both capable fighters and protect each other on the battlefield. Their story is about how being from different social classes (and different cultures) can create conflict between such a pair. By the end of the game, they learn to see each other as equals. The changes in their relationship are marked by what Kisara calls him — from “Lord Dohalim” or “my lord” to just “Dohalim” then later, his nickname “Do”. Some moments in the game also hint at a growing romantic attraction to each other.
  • Virgo Versus the Zodiac: Virgo and Pisces form a pair. Pisces is always a Bright Lady; whether Virgo is dark or light is up to the player.
  • Wild ARMs: Although she's quite capable of taking care of herself most of the time, Cecilia is the Rebellious Princess (and later Queen) Bright Lady while Rudy and Jack serve as her White Knights. Rudy is a more straightforward White Knight as he will do everything he can to save those around him. Because of his Dark and Troubled Past it takes Jack a while to fully grow into the role.

    Visual Novels 
  • Cruelly subverted in Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Trials and Tribulations, where Diego Armando blames Phoenix and himself for failing to live up to this trope with respect to Mia Fey. Diego then attempts to single-handedly protect Mia's younger sister, which leads to more tragedy.
  • In Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies, it becomes clear that Simon Blackquill loved Metis not only as a student loves a mentor, but as a samurai loves his patron. That's why he spends seven years in prison and is nearly executed to protect her daughter.

    Web Comics 
  • A same-sex variant in Haircut, with captain of the guard Lady Beatrice protecting Princess Mildred. Overlaps with Bodyguard Crush that develops into romance.
  • In Homestuck's backstory, Feferi (The Empire's compassionate, eternally optimistic heiress) and Eridan (a proud, bombastic warrior who helped feed Feferi's lusus note ) were this...or at least they tried to be. Feferi's influence was the only thing keeping Eridan from being a Black Knight, but at some point, she grew sick of being his Living Emotional Crutch and watching over his behavior...

    Web Original 
  • In Dead West, this is the best way to describe the narrator's relationship with the Porcelain Doctor (same-sex example). Bonus points for the doctor being an aristocrat (he is also very kind and sweet when not having berserker episodes), and Gervas getting knighted in Diamond. He is explicitly referred as Niall's knight from "Steel" onward and effectively placed himself under a Geas with an extremely old-fashioned Oath. The Porcelain Doctor shows extreme trust and surprising affection towards his knight, after they sort out the issues with his gender, and sometimes reciprocates the protection.
  • In Porkchop 'n Flatscreen!, Ayane invoked this (or more specifically, "princess and knight") to describe the relationship between her and Mai when they were younger. For the most part, it seems to have stuck (in a platonic manner, of course).
  • In Twisted Cogs, a good rhetor and rhetorguard are this. If they don't keep to their responsibilities — i.e. if the rhetor speaks and the rhetorguard doesn't kill her or turn her in to be killed — then they are seen as the dark variant below.
  • In We Are All Pokémon Trainers, Dot (a Vespiquen who plays up the Lady role) and Oshawittle (an Oshawott who plays up the Knight role) have this relationship.

    Western Animation 
  • Played with in Adventure Time by Finn and Princess Bubblegum. Finn certainly sees himself as PB's knight (even Lampshading it in song at one point), and she's certainly willing to have him perform her errands (having referred to him as her Champion several times). As the series goes on it becomes clear that, being rather young and thus immature, Finn will never be satisfied with mere Courtly Love from her and some of what he does is in the hopes of impressing her and winning her affection. For her part, PB is not a Damsel in Distress or even much of a Proper Lady except on formal occasions and in fact could probably handle half of the threats she sics Finn on at least as well but doesn't because she's too busy running the kingdom, and views Finn's romantic interest with a kind of detached exasperation. It becomes more complicated when it's seen just how ambiguously PB's morality can be and some have questioned whether she does care for Finn or merely using him. For now, they are friends and he still defends the kingdom and her because of this and because he is a noble person at heart.
  • Hazbin Hotel: Demon Princess Charlie Morningstar and her Violently Protective Girlfriend Vaggie are an interesting example — as a pair of demons in Hell (Charlie specifically being the daughter of Lucifer himself), you'd think they'd be a Dark Lady and Black Knight variant, but Charlie's characterization leans closer to a typical Disney Princess and she's effectively the Token Good Teammate of Hell as a whole, while Vaggie is a largely more decent individual than most souls of the damned. In the episode "Scrambled Eggs", Vaggie has an entire segment in a musical number vowing to protect Charlie, declaring that she'll be her "armor".
  • Miraculous Ladybug: Ladybug, even though she's just an ordinary girl out of costume, is The Leader of the heroes and the only one who can purge the damage done by Hawkmoth's Akumas. Cat Noir has a Bodyguard Crush on her and frequently throws himself in harm's way to protect her. He even calls her "my lady" as an Affectionate Nickname while they're on the job.
  • Princess Cadence and Shining Armor in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, Cadence being a princess who weaponizes The Power of Love and Shining Armor being her loyal, protective captain of the guard. The two are married in their introductory episode.
  • Steven Universe:
  • Ilana and Lance from Sym-Bionic Titan.
  • The Winx Club fairies and the Specialists, and especially Stella (who is a Princess) and her boyfriend Brandon (who is Prince Sky's partner as well as a literal Knight)

Dark Lady and Black Knight

    Anime and Manga 
  • Sebastian and Ciel's relationship in Black Butler can be seen as a platonic (or not so platonic) same-sex version, with Sebastian as the Black Knight to Ciel's Dark Lord. Overlaps with Battle Butler.
  • In Black Lagoon, Yakuza Princess Yukio Washimine and her One-Man Army bodyguard Ginji Matsuzaki are this; nobility connotations, loyalty oath, ideas of honor, etc.
  • Diva of Blood+ is a through and through Dark Lady with varying shades of knights (5-7 if one includes back story chevaliers), though most of them are Black or are at least morally ambiguous enough to not be White.
  • Code Geass has the gender-flipped pair of Lelouch as a Fallen Prince and Kallen as his bodyguard Ace Pilot Black Knight. The twist is that though Lelouch in particular has the trappings of evil, both are heroic individuals who only do the Necessarily Evil to fight the greater evil; that said, they fit this dynamic over the more traditionally "good" set up. Later on Kallen abandons Lelouch when it seems he plans to become a dictator and Suzaku takes her place as his knight.
  • In Cross Ange, through several twists of events, Tusk ends up being Ange's knight. Of course, given their personalities (she is a cynical princess and he is an Accidental Pervert) and the fact that more often than not, she proves herself to be a better fighter than him, their relationship is as far from archetypal as it gets.
  • The leads of Dance in the Vampire Bund may best be described as Dark Lady & White Knight. Teenage werewolf commando/bodyguard Akira Regendorf is just about as benevolent and noble as they come; however, for all that Vampire Monarch Mina Tepes is just as kindly at heart, centuries of protecting her followers from the mad bastards running the other surviving vampire factions have left her capable of considerable ruthlessness when she perceives a threat.
  • In Fate/Prototype, Manaka Sajyou wanted this with her Servant Saber aka King Arthur (not gender-flipped... still). Badly. It failed. But now that she's Back from the Dead, she still wants it. Even after, as said above, the now-returned Saber is playing the White Knight to Manaka's sister Ayaka's White Lady
  • Gundam:
  • Princess Samedare and the Lizard Knight Yuuhi from The Lucifer and Biscuit Hammer. A rather strange example, since she is actually trying to save the earth, but only so she can destroy it herself. Not to mention she's a Manic Pixie Dream Genki Girl and doesn't seem like a villain at all until she opens her mouth to say she's going to destroy the world.
  • Princess Emeraude and Zagato, who we all thought was the Big Bad, from Magic Knight Rayearth. Bet you didn't see that one coming.
  • Queen Beryl and Evil!Endymion from Sailor Moon, for the mind-control type. Repeated in the Black Moon arc with Black Lady/Wicked Lady and Tuxedo Mask.
  • As mentioned above, Siegfried and Hilda from Saint Seiya become this when Hilda is Brainwashed and Crazy. (Normally they're a White Knight and Bright Lady duo.) And basically, Hagen is what happens to a White Knight when his Bright Lady becomes a Defector from Decadence and he can't handle it.
  • Tao Jun and her mind-controlled zombie puppet kung-fu guy Lee Pai Long from Shaman King — until Lee Pai long is released from his mind control, develops real feelings for her and they both turn good, becoming an example of Bright Lady and White Knight.
  • Lina Inverse and Gourry Gabriev from Slayers. Interestingly, they're actually quite heroic, though Gourry is definitely the more heroic of the pair, with Lina being more of a Type IV Anti-Hero than anything.
  • Witch Medusa Gorgon and Mind-controlled Dr.Stein from the Soul Eater anime.
  • Witch Hunter Robin: Amon and Robin play with the trope. Robin is seen as the Dark Lady by many because of her heritage and some of her actions are brutal considering what the rest of the team does but at heart, she's a Bright Lady trying to do what's right. Amon ultimately betrays both Zizain and SOLOMON to protect Robin from danger and is seen as a Dark Knight who's gone rogue, though he wavers back and forth. Robin herself calls him her "watch dog" because he will make sure she survives unless she loses herself to her power. At which point he will kill her himself.

    Comic Books 
  • This was the basic gimmick of the 1980s Batman villainess Nocturna, who used a narcotic perfume and went through two criminal "Black Knights" called the Night-Thief and Nightshade before trying and failing to make Batman her champion.
  • Lady Death had the titular protagonist as the Dark Lady, being a seductive Femme Fatale from Hell, and her two Black Knights: Evil Ernie, an undead psychotic killer devoted to her, and Cremator, a hulking, demonic blacksmith who unlike Evil Ernie is a platonic version of this trope.
  • The Marvel Comics version of Thor was often opposed by the Enchantress and the Executioner; the latter wielded an axe rather than a sword, but the basics of this trope were in full effect. The Enchantress also tried something similar with the original Power Man (Erik Josten) and later magically brainwashed the heroic Black Knight into serving as her champion for a brief spell.
  • Marvel's versions of Morgan Le Fay and Mordred fit this trope in stories set in the Camelot period. Ironically, the hero who opposed them was the aforementioned hero called the Black Knight.

    Fairy Tales 

    Fan Works 
  • An odd, gender-flipped example in Armored Core: from the Ashes. Ghost is a masterful Chessmaster and Magnificent Bastard, and is paired with Fiona Jarnefeldt, a severely Yandere, insane pilot who used to be normal, but prior to the story, was subjected to Mind Rape by Ghost... who she happened to be in love with at the time. However, this is subverted — although his 'Knight' does much of his dirty work, Ghost is an even more competent pilot (explicitly stated to be the best on Earth, tied with Kruger, his Arch-Enemy and the story's Hero Antagonist; this naturally leads to discussion later on of whether they can qualify as gods because of their power), and will often deploy onto the battlefield if things are looking particularly bad to deliver a Curb-Stomp Battle on his enemies (unless Kruger is involved, in which case you either end up with a massive high-speed battle, while the two discuss deep philosophical matters of good and evil, right and wrong, and whether Ghost's actions are justified or not, or one of the two calling a full retreat (which Ghost's Knight may not always obey).
    • For that matter, Ghost used to have a weird example of this with a Bright Lady-Black Knight pairing with Holly. He outranked her, but he often insisted that she stay behind and not get herself into trouble, and she could give him orders and he'd obey. Of course, after Holly got Laser-Guided Amnesia, didn't remember Ghost, and Ghost pulled a sort-of Face–Heel Turn to go into opposition against all mankind as part of The Plan, this pairing was promptly broken up and replaced with the even stranger one listed above.
  • In A Man of Iron, the Night's Queen in Sansa's body gains Sandor Clegane as her faithful knight when she effortlessly heals his face — it helps that he genuinely believes that she's Sansa, and some of her darker aspects disturb him.
  • A same-gender version shows up in My Mirror, Sword and Shield with Lelouch and Suzaku; who are also lovers in this verse.
  • As The Night Unfurls sometimes refers Chloe, the shadow of the Dark Queen Olga, as her knight, together with how protective Chloe is to her liege lady, the two count as this. Though, Olga sees their relationship as more than that.
  • In Nine Eleven Ten, Lady Frost is a Dark Lady who styles herself as a Bright Lady with the EBS as her army of White Knights.
    Frost: Muñoz... you (Charles), Howlett, Azazel, Scott -– my prince –- all of my defenders.... I value you so highly.
  • Elf-Queen Eruvanda and General Arquen have this dynamic early in Power Rangers GPX when they were both the antagonists. He acts like a knight in defense of his Queen, with whom he eventually begins a secret relationship. Then she decides to end the anti-Power Ranger campaign and they are forced to flee to the Power Rangers. After this, they take on a White Knight, Bright Lady dynamic, which is solidified when Arquen joins the Power Rangers.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Red Queen and Knave of Hearts in Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland (2010).
  • Turns up in The Dark Knight Rises when it is revealed that Bane and Talia Al Ghul share this relationship. Their backstory swiftly reveals that he pledged his life to protect her when she was a little girl in a Hell Hole Prison, and their relationship has been one of absolute loyalty and mutual trust ever since.
  • Ma-Ma from Dredd is the Dark Lady and her second in command Caleb is her Dark Knight, who was there from step one for her.
  • As suggested under Multiple Media below, the film Excalibur is an example of the modernized Arthurian Legend version of the trope.
  • The titular Maleficent and The Dragon Diaval have this relationship, though it's platonic and she certainly doesn't need protecting.
  • Though the "Black Knight" type is dead by the beginning of the film, later revelations make it clear that this was the arrangement that Brigid O'Shaunessy of The Maltese Falcon had with at least two men prior to her failed manipulation of Sam Spade.
  • This proves to be the situation in the James Bond film The World Is Not Enough: The Dragon/Black Knight is Renard; the Sorceress archetype is Elektra King.

  • Opal Koboi and Briar Cudgeon have this Dynamic in Artemis Fowl: The Artic Incident. Opal is the ojou who does her techno-wizardry from a safe distance and Cudgeon is the Fallen Hero in the thick of things. "I shall be the hero of the resistance and you shall be my princess."
  • The relationship between Agnes and Harry Jones in The Big Sleep. Like O'Shaunessy's partners, Harry dies to protect the ultimately disloyal and uncaring Agnes.
  • Black Jewels: In Shalador's Lady, Kermilla tries to make Theran her Dark Knight, and succeeds for long enough to provoke a major political crisis.
  • Dead West has a Lord and Knight version: The Porcelain Doctor and Gervas have this dynamic, down to the kneeling and hand-kissing (maybe even with shades of Courtly Love). Gervas even gets knighted after a while, courtesy of the Beast. Note that this is apparently a well-tested ritual, and the oath seems to help synchronize our narrator with Niall and providing him access to several favours. Might seem funny, as Niall doesn't exactly need protection.
  • Charissa, Duchess of Tolan and Lord Ian Howell in Deryni Rising. In a subversion, Charissa kills Ian before he can pull a Starscream on her.
    • According to Word of God, the earliest draft of the story actually pivoted on a Lady And Knight relationship between the general (Morgan) and the queen mother (Jehana), though they hadn't yet received names at that point. This ship was scrapped in the next draft, and the queen's young son was aged up to become the main character.
  • George, Duke of Clarence and his wife Isabel Neville are this in the I, Richard Plantagenet Series. They are childhood sweethearts who deeply love each other and support each others dark ambitions. She wants him to have the crown; he wants her to have all of her mother's fortune, cutting out her younger sister. They scheme and plot, including him kidnapping and forcing her sister to work as a servant, but they are ultimately thwarted. Ironically, their younger siblings get everything George and Isabel desired without seeking any of it.
  • Legacy of the Dragokin: Mordak becomes a black knight for dark lady Zarracka; he calls her 'my dear' and says he'll be her protector. He's playing into her ego; she's nothing but a spare body to him.
  • A variant appears in Tithe, the first of Holly Black's Modern Faerie Tales, where the Seelie knight Rath Roiben Rye is unwillingly pressed into service as the Black Knight for the Unseelie Queen Nicnevin...out of devotion and unrequited love for her sister, Queen Silarial of the Seelie Court. In the second book, Ironside the dynamic is reversed, with Roiben having become the Unseelie King himself while his lover Kaye goes on a quest to save his life and win his hand.
  • A Practical Guide to Evil: the Dread Empress, Alaya, and her best friend, Black Knight Amadeus, have this dynamic in the beginning: he helped her escape the former Dread Emperor's seraglio and ascend to the throne and now keeps her enemies in check through threats, while she enables his reforms of the military and presents herself as the softer, more reasonable person to the nobles.
  • Rebuild World: Cyberpunk version with Alpha as a seductive Artificial Intelligence Evil Mentor to the Unscrupulous Hero Akira. He seems to follow her every command blindly as an Unwitting Pawn, despite being irritated by her constant seduction attempts. But Tsubaki’s attempts to turn Akira away from Alpha, make him recite a list of Manipulative Bitch actions she’s taken before citing I Gave My Word and I Owe You My Life to justify serving her in a My Master, Right or Wrong situation. Generally speaking however, Akira is a Defrosting Ice King who becomes more and more connected to those around him, despite Alpha’s wishes to keep him isolated and dependent on her.
  • Genderflipped variation: Ashram and Pirotess from Record of Lodoss War.
  • Appears in C.S. Lewis's The Silver Chair. The Analysis section mentions that it's very common for Black Knights to be mind-controlled by their Dark Ladies: that's what happens here, between the Brainwashed Prince Rilian and the Lady of the Green Kirtle. It ends up backfiring when Rilian, fully released from the brainwashing by the Power Trio (Jill, Eustace, and Puddleglum), turns against the Lady and kills her when she takes her serpent form.
  • Cersei and Jaime Lannister from A Song of Ice and Fire fit this trope to a T. Both are amoral schemers. Jaime solves problems with his sword and is totally devoted to Cersei. Cersei, for her part, uses sex to get whatever she wants, and schemes with the best of them. Eventually falls apart when Jaime rediscovers his moral compass and finds himself increasingly disgusted with Cersei's antics.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Drusilla and Spike.
  • Game of Thrones has Queen Regent Cersei and Robert Strong aka Gregor Clegane after Qyburn "healed" him. They look like a Bright Lady and White Knight pairing at first but in Season 7, they take a more appropriate appearance by wearing dark dress and armor respectively.
  • House of the Dragon has two opposing factions, each with a mixed Bright/Dark Lady and her not-so-ambiguously Dark Knight, a man who's eager to be violent on her behalf.
    • By the end of Season 1, Rhaenyra Targaryen isn't totally white nor is she dark, but her husband Daemon definitely fits the dark knight version of the trope.
    • Queen Alicent Hightower is a mixture of the Bright/Dark Lady to her Black Knight, Ser Criston Cole. Criston served Alicent, and Rhaenyra before that. In that time, the whole "sworn sword" institution has been Deconstructed on multiple counts.
      • As a member of the Kingsguard, Criston has taken a Vow of Celibacy, insuring he has unfulfilled longings. As a noblewoman's sworn sword, his entire job description is to act rather like a partner (loyal protector, supporter, confidant, and companion) to a beautiful lady he's encouraged to idealize. Under those circumstances, developing feelings for his liege lady is not surprising — the situation is practically designed to invoke Bodyguard Crush. And on the ladies' side, if he's acting like your partner, he's wholly devoted to you, and then he's hot on top of that... Considering any amorous conduct between the two is strictly forbidden, who thought this was a good idea?
      • The Lady and Knight situation is also ripe for abuse of power. The knight's sworn to obey his lady's every command. The only thing in place to protect the knight is a vow that the lady's not supposed to ask anything of him that would bring him dishonor. But a single vow is hardly a reliable safeguarding system. Moreover, his role encourages an atmosphere where she feels she can trust and depend on him, therefore she can ask him for things she wouldn't ask of anyone else — even inappropriate requests, such as sex, or to cut out a child's eye. When that happens, the fact that he always obeys her makes it very uncomfortable for him to break script and say no, even if he does technically have grounds to do so. In Criston's specific case this is doubly true because he's lowborn and owes his status entirely to his liege ladies — he extra can't risk their displeasure.

  • Various modern-day versions of Arthurian Legend treat Morgaine Le Fay as the partner or boss of Mordred; the actual legends and romances don't reflect this, but the story of the Green Knight could fit because she uses her magic to help his beheading game.

  • Riliane and her servant/twin brother Allen have this relationship in Evillious Chronicles, as depicted in the songs Daughter of Evil and Servant of Evil. The 14-year-old queen rules with an iron fist, squandering money seized from her people and executing protesters. Her twin brother acts as her knight, shielding her from hatred and allowing her to retain her childlike innocence. When a foreign prince favored a green-haired lady over her, she ordered her brother to murder her and everyone else with green hair, not realizing he'd fallen in love with that girl. When the people finally revolt against her, they exchange clothing and he dies in her place.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Pathfinder: The Witchguard Ranger Archetype. Its flavor text states that they are "sworn defenders of the White Witches of Irrisen". Many of the vanilla Ranger's Nature Hero abilities are replaced with those that increase a spellcaster's AC or taking damage in their place. As for why this archetype is listed under Dark Lady/Black Knight (as it's entirely possible to have a heroic Witchguard PC), Irrisen is a Lawful Evil Mageocracy ruled by Baba Yaga's daughters.

    Video Games 
  • Ar tonelico: Melody of Elemia: Mir and Ayatane.
  • Rozalin and Adell have this dynamic in Disgaea 2, though Rozalin spends a good deal of time wondering why Adell insists to play the Knight when she's more or less a captured enemy. In Disgaea 3, it's subverted and inverted. Almaz tries to be the Knight to Princess Sapphire's Lady by going to the Netherworld to slay the overlord but gets way too in over his head. Then Sapphire herself shows up down there for the same reasons (because she couldn't take all of the would-be Knights running down there and getting themselves killed in her name) and basically becomes his Knight.
  • Dishonored has the protagonist Corvo act as a White Knight to Bright Lady Empress Jessamine Kaldwin; however, when she's killed and he's framed for her murder, he flips from White to Black, becomes an assassin and transfers all his loyalty to the Empress's daughter, Emily. They subsequently become a Badass and Child Duo, and whether Emily grows to become Bright or Dark changes according to how you play Corvo.
  • Morag and the Wight Knight in Dragon Quest IX. She cast a spell on him in order to force him to fall in love with her, allowing her to destroy the Wight Knight's home kingdom of Brigadoom without interference. She then sealed herself away with him until an earthquake woke them up and broke the curse she had on the Wight Knight.
  • In Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 2 Haman Karn and Milliardo Peacecraft have a plotline which has shades of this, and their Special Combo dialogue explicitly references it:
    Haman: Show me how a knight fights!
    Milliardo: Show me how a Lady fights.
  • Elden Ring plays with this - the Dark Lady is Ranni the Witch, a scheming demigoddess with a chilly, aloof, and ambitious disposition, and from the moment she meets the Tarnished, she immediately starts pressuring them into helping her scheme to become the Top God, with you increasingly becoming her Knight. The thing is, it's a Romance Sidequest, and everything suggests that by the end of it, Ranni genuinely loves you - that, and the game makes it clear her real goal is to save the world from the manipulations of the Greater Will, as her family was torn apart by its edicts, and freeing humanity from the existential horror of being subject to the politics of Jerkass Gods. Moreover, while she wants your help, she initially tries to push you away, as she initially feels the burden is hers alone to bear. As a result, Ranni comes off as an Affably Evil Anti-Villain at worst, and it only ends badly if you betray her.
  • Seifer and Edea while she's possessed by Ultimecia in Final Fantasy VIII fill these roles — Edea in fact invokes the trope, using Seifer's "romantic dream" and knightly aspirations to manipulate him. He doesn't quite realize initially that he's more of a Dark Knight than a Bright Knight, or at least is in quite a bit of denial about it for a while. Later, understanding how he's being used but feeling he's gone too far to turn back, Seifer abandons the role of "knight" entirely.
  • Clive and Joshua are a sibling version in Final Fantasy XVI, with Clive sworn to Joshua’s service and protection. There’s even a knighting ceremony.
  • Genderflipped in Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones: Emperor Vigarde is the Dark "Lord", while Dame Selena Fluorspar is his Black/Dark Lady of Black Magic (For a given value of "Dark Lady" anyway).
  • In Halo 5: Guardians the Warden Eternal is The Dragon to Cortana and fervently protects her.
  • Knights of the Old Republic: Playing a Dark-Sided male? This is where you and Bastila are ending up.
  • Star Wars: The Old Republic:
    • A Dark-Sided female Sith Inquisitor and Andronikos Revel: you're a Sith, and he's a Space Pirate; works particularly well if the Sith is a Sorcerer. It can also be tweaked to work with Khem Val, in a completely nonromantic and nonsexual sense — you're a Sith, and he's a "Shadow Killer" assassin sworn to obey you.
    • A Dark-sided male Sith Inquisitor and Ashara will become this instead of the White Knight/Bright Lady example above; you're a Sith who loves a good torture, and she's a fallen Jedi who swears Undying Loyalty to you.
    • A Dark-Sided female Sith Warrior and Malavai Quinn: you're a Sith, he's an Imperial officer, and he behaves in a manner of absolute devotion and loyalty even if you don't romance him.
    • A Dark-Sided male Sith Warrior and Jaesa Willsaam if she is turned to the Dark Side. She becomes a textbook Cute and Psycho lover and apprentice.
  • Touhou Project: Yuyuko Saigyouji and Youmu Konpaku, of the Eastern variety. The dark lady is a ghost, the black knight (ok, Samurai) is a half-ghost who robs Gensokyo of its spring in her name. They get better, though it takes a hell of a befriending on behalf of the protagonists.
  • Wild ARMs gives us a very disturbing example with Mother and Zeikfried. Mother is the Dark Lady, determined to destroy Filgaia and insists on Zeikfried helping her do it. Zeikfried is the Black Knight via being ruthless enough to betray Mother by guiding the heroes to her, as well have having no real qualms about anything other than conquest. In the end she devours and possesses him, fording him to becomes the destructive monster she intended him to be.
  • Sylvanas Windrunner and Nathanos Blightcaller of World of Warcraft have this going, to the extent that she's frequently referred to as the Dark Lady and calls him her champion. He has obvious romantic feelings for her but it's not made clear until nearly her last appearance how she feels about him.

    Web Comics 
  • Girl Genius spoofs this with prince Tarvek Sturmvoraus and his Ninja Maid Violetta. She belongs to a branch of family that has served his for generations and had no choice about becoming a Smoke Knight charged with protecting him, even though she hates the task. They behave like particularly quarrelsome siblings and openly confess their hatred for one another, but protect him she does, until released from the duty. We do find out that she is his cousin and his dismissal of her from duty (which caused her self-esteem issues) was because he didn't want her to get hurt because of him.
    Violetta: I'm responsible for this slug's continued existence.
    Tarvek: This useless nitwit is my loyal servant. Ow! Quitit!
  • In Homestuck, there's an example of a (mostly) non-romantic version between Eridan and Vriska. Mostly non-romantic because "Troll romance sure is weird", and because what Eridan is doing with Vriska is the source of all those dead lusii for Feferi's lusus.

    Western Animation 
  • Spoofed in an episode of The Tick with the overweight grotesque Venus and her wimpy inventor husband Milo.
  • In Winx Club there's a Dark Lady/Dark Knight example with Darcy and Riven. In the 4Kids version, he is put under a spell, while in the original version, he works with Darcy willingly. Luckily, Riven has a Heel–Face Turn.

Alternative Title(s): Bright Lady And White Knight, Dark Lady And Black Knight, Sorceress And Knight, Evil Lady And Knight