Follow TV Tropes


Noble Wolf

Go To
"The jackal may follow the tiger, but Cub, when thy whiskers are grown,
Remember; the Wolf is a hunter. Go forth, and get food of thine own!"
Rudyard Kipling, "The Law of the Jungle", The Second Jungle Book

As wolves became less common in inhabited areas, people became less wary and more curious of them and started to look at their positive traits. No longer seen as simply destructive beasts, they were soon written as proud and admirable symbols of nature that were intelligent, dignified and reasonable. Although still dangerous, if a Noble Wolf is antagonistic, it's probably not just because it hates you or wants to eat you. Rather, an antagonist Noble Wolf will probably have been offended at your trespasses or your competition for resources.

Although leaning more towards neutrality, a Noble Wolf can easily be a heroic figure. With their intelligence, a doglike figure and social nature, it is easy to pick out good traits to emphasize. Any heroic wolf of this sort will be a force to be reckoned with as wolves are still taken very seriously today. Bonus points if the wolf is white.

The spread of this trope in popular culture happened for a number of reasons. One of the primary early motivators was the growth of urbanization, until the majority of humanity was living in cities and large towns by the early modern period. This meant that fewer and fewer people lived in close contact with wild animals or raised livestock for a living; this, combined with declining wolf populations in general, meant that the primary reasons why people hated wolves historically — predation of livestock, competition for wild game, and occasional attacks on people — became less important culturally. In addition, advances in ecological science have also shown that older assumptions about predator-prey relationships, namely that the absence of predators is a net gain for prey animals and wildlife management, are flatly wrong, and that apex predators such as wolves play a very important role in managing the populations of wild game and keeping environments healthy.

This saw a shift in perception of wolves from monstrous man-eaters and livestock thieves and towards noble rulers of the wilderness, cunning hunters and rugged survivors. Indeed, since humans and wolves are both highly social, endurance-based predators of mainly the same prey animals, a lot of traits present in wolves — cooperation, loyalty to pack members, cunning, skill in tackling difficult prey — are historically ones that humans often value in themselves.

A Sister Trope to Heroic Dog and Wonderful Werewolf. See also Heroic Dolphin. Compare and contrast Savage Wolves. This trope as it pertains to positive traits of male wolves is the origin of Papa Wolf. Having a lupine ally or pet is another trope, i.e. Canine Companion.


    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 
  • Kiba the wolf from Cat Paradise, despite being a Spirit Beast, is not nearly as malicious as many of the other Spirit Beasts that appear, and even agrees to help the humans after his job is finished. Possibly justified, since his species flourished overall in the advent of humanity, unlike some other species.
  • Corrector Yui: War Wolf is a zigzag; he's very powerful as a Corruptor, and also very powerful as a Corrector.
  • Laios from Delicious in Dungeon transforms himself into a wolf to "dig down" from his dreamscape into Marcille's. He's pretty put out later when she mentions she saw him in the form of an adorable fluffy white dog rather than the badass wolf he imagined.
  • Digimon:
    • Digimon Adventure has Garurumon/WereGarurumon/MetalGarurumon who is literally the best friend Yamato has ever had. He evolves via The Power of Friendship. It's appropriate for a hunter that travels in packs.
    • Digimon Frontier has Kouji whose Digimon forms are Wolfmon/Garmmon/Beowulfmon/MagnaGarurumon (Lobomon/KendoGarurumon/Beowulfmon/MagnaGarurumon), which are all forms of the lupine ancient warrior of light who once fought alongside nine other warriors to rid the Digital World of a great evil.
    • Digimon Fusion: Dorurumon tries to be a lone wolf but he has a Morality Pet in Cutemon and can't help himself from aiding Xros Heart before formally joining. Wolves are meant to be in a pack.
  • In Ginga: Nagareboshi Gin, a manga-only short after the Big Bad's defeat features both good and evil wolves, in which the dogs join forces with the former to defeat the latter.
  • Grimm's Fairy Tale Classics: The wolves in "Snow White" are quite friendly to Snow White and the dwarves. It doesn't stop them from attacking the Evil Queen after she poisoned Snow White.
  • The Captain from Hellsing is a Made of Iron werewolf who is one of the strongest characters in his series. Despite being a member of an evil Nazi organization bent on starting World War III, he seems to have an incredibly strong sense of honor, refusing to fight any humans he doesn't have orders to kill, and has a sense of chivalry for fellow warriors (he even decided to spare Heinkel, against orders). He also is incredibly loyal to the Major.
  • In Inuyasha there are two major wolf creatures: Rouyakan is a gentle forest guardian who has no interest in the Shikon Jewel — a very rare thing given that most of the youkai the main characters come across are eager to get hold of the jewel to amplify their powers. Naraku has to force a jewel shard on him to brainwash him, and Kaede is shocked by the ferocious behavior that results.
  • Madarao from Kekkaishi, assists the heroes in corralling the demons spawned by the local Place of Power. However, he could quickly turn savage without his Power Limiter. Kouya also started out as a noble wolf, but his hatred changed him, and he became a Savage Wolf. The two eventually fight.
  • Arf and Zafira of Lyrical Nanoha, large and imposing wolf familiars who are very protective of their Anti-Villain masters and allies and joined them in their eventual Heel–Face Turn. They're also both shown to be very good with kids (Zafira runs a children's dojo and Arf is the primary babysitter for her mistress' niece and nephew).
  • Duran from My-HiME was Natsuki's Childe, took the form of a giant, metal wolf whose super power was ice. Want to know what fueled him? Love.
  • In Negima! Magister Negi Magi, Kotaro's summoned spirits, the Inugami, are usually fierce and relentless in their hunting during combat, but even during — depending on Kotaro's team alignment (or mood) — they can be depicted as almost majestic and beautiful. That still doesn't stop them from acting puppy-like on occasion (they are technically dogs). Kotaro later shows an ability to become a monsterous wolf at full power.
  • Ash's Rockruff in the Pokémon anime evolves into Dusk Lycanroc form. Physically he combines features from both Midday and Midnight forms (see below in Video Games), but for the most part he retains his friendly and playful demeanor, though at times he can let slip his temper and lose control, partially zigzagging the trope.
  • Princess Mononoke. The wolves were portrayed both as noble creatures who just want to protect their own and even saved a little child abandoned by her parents but also as savage creatures that kill humans indiscriminately. The point of the movie is that neither the animal spirits nor the people of the Ironworks are any better or worse than the other.
  • Tokyo Mew Mew: Zakuro Fujiwara is a wolfgirl and an Aloof Dark-Haired Girl who tries to be a lone wolf. Minto fangirls her graceful and majestic bearing. However, she has a fair bit of the savage kind in her too, as she tends to react to all of her problems with physical or psychological violence, and is shown breaking a kid's arm for bullying.
  • The Battle Wolf in Toriko — one of its kind once averted global extinction by single-handedly killing the entire race of Death Gores that were causing it, not even allowing them one leaf of the forest in which it lived in (yes, the Death Gore is a Herbivore). And in an encounter with the Devil's Serpent, a snake rumoured to have been the Battle Wolf's competitor in the ancient days... it only lasted three pages. On top of that, said Battle Wolf was just exhausted from giving birth, and nearing the end of its life, having given all it had to give birth to its child. In the end, she died standing up, proud like the king it was cloned from, which was the same Battle Wolf mentioned earlier.
  • Wolf's Rain is an anime revolving around this trope, following four wolves in disguise as humans wanting to seek out Paradise while the Earth is dying.

    Card Games 
  • Magic: The Gathering: There are a number of wolf cards, almost all of them Green (the color of nature) or Red (the color of emotion and impulsiveness). They tend emphasize cunning and teamwork (such as by a wolf card gaining abilities if there are other wolf cards in play, or having the ability to pull more wolves from your library and put them in play). Whether they are this trope or Savage Wolves tends to depend on the individual cards, but broadly speaking Green wolves tend to Noble and Red ones tend to be Savage. The best example of this trope is Sacred Wolf, which also has an ability that makes it immune to magical attacks.
    "I raised my bow, and the wolf stared at me. Under its gaze, my finger would not release the string."
    Aref the Hunter

    Comic Books 
  • Aquila: The guardian spirit of Rome is, of course, a wolf. She's actually a goddess who once took the form of a wolf bitch the size of Fenrir to watch over Romulus and Remus before the former of the two brothers slayed the other and began the city's martial era. She resides in the sewers of the city Beneath the Earth with her followers.
  • In the Disney comic books, Li'l Bad Wolf, the son of Zeke the Big Bad Wolf, finds himself in a dilemma between following in his pop's footsteps and doing the right thing. He usually tells Br'er Bear about his plans, receiving sympathetic treatment if he promises to be good, receiving help from either Practical Pig, a fairy, or someone else who helps Li'l Bad so that his good side prevails.
  • The Wolfriders' wolves in ElfQuest are definitely this. The elves' kinship with them is more than metaphorical.
  • Fables,
    • The Big Bad Wolf from "Little Red Riding Hood" and "The Three Little Pigs" used to be an antagonistic, man-eating wolf, until he fell in love with Snow White which eventually prompted him to retire from his villainy, assume human form and work as a clever sheriff for the fable community while attempting to get closer to her. However, Bigby's loyalty and devotion to her, his cubs and Fabletown are more an extension of his instincts to protect his pack and territory than any sense of morality. He is totally unrepentant for all the people he killed back in his day.
    • The clan Mowgli encounters in Siberia fits this trope. Brutal predators but bound by their honor and customs.
    • Averted by the titular "Werewolves of the Heartland", who are barely kept in check by extremely draconian laws and hunt (lost, isolated, unarmed) humans for sport, use backstabbing and political manoeuvring to become "alpha" rather than open confrontation and are practically guaranteed to fall apart and draw the attention of Fabletown and/or the human military before too long.
  • In the G.I. Joe comics continuity originated by Marvel, Snake-Eyes has a wolf named Timber who is his on-again, off-again pet. He and the wolf both spook the nearby townspeople so bad that it's rumored he's a werewolf. When he's reactivated and brought into G. I. Joe, he leaves Timber behind. One of the two characters who came to get him asks the other about his leaving "that poor animal" without any support. The other points out it's a wolf, not a dog, and it "doesn't eat Alpo".
  • The Phantom has Devil who is much more loyal and heroic than his name implies. In the 1943 movie serial he was even played by the real-life Wonder Dog, Ace.
  • Werewolf by Night: Jack Russell, after his Character Development turned him from villain's plaything to motorcycle riding Anti-Hero.

    Fairy Tales 

    Fan Works 
  • Breath of the Wild, a fanmade The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild novelization, expands the plot-point of Link transforming into a wolf in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess into Link's Animal Motif. He's very associated with wolves. The Wolf Spirit is the full gathering of power from all prior incarnations of Link meant to be wielded by the current Link. Also, the Hero's Shade makes an appearance in Link's dreams in his gold wolf form, and is accompanied by other incarnations of Link, all of whom are in wolf form with Morphic Resonance that makes it clear which Link they represent. For example, one wears a green cap with a beak and one carries a baton.
  • Catalyst Verse: Bear is one of these, instead of the Heroic Dog he is in Person of Interest.
  • Child of the Storm has Freki and Geri, the wolves of Odin, who are a) the size of small ponies, b) possessed of at least human-level intelligence, c) like all things in Asgard, super-strong and bulletproof. They're fairly good-natured, however, and tend to act like over-sized friendly dogs, particularly when standing in as Harry's bodyguards — and since he's their master's grandson, they're dangerously protective of him.
  • The Wolves (not to be confused with wolves) in The Parselmouth of Gryffindor, a clan of magical, near-sapient wolves in the Forbidden Forest. Naturally, their leader Toft is especially majestic.
  • A Diplomatic Visit: The wolves of the Packlands, including their ambassador Swift-Pad.
  • Nero and his pack of fellow dire wolves in Prehistoric Park Reimagined prove very agreeable and easy to work with after being rescued from the past and placed amongst the animal repertoire of the titular park, with Nero himself even explicitly forming a strong bond with park security guard Colette.
  • Zapana Zquor in Zero Context: Taking Out the Trash is a gray timber wolf caninoid, a subspecies of interdimensional aliens that resemble humanoid wolves. Despite her alcoholism and tendency to speak harshly of others when she feels its warranted, she values her friends highly and is willing to fight on their behalf in difficult situations.

    Films — Animation 
  • Eve, the mother of Kate in Alpha and Omega, maintains her calm until she senses that her daughter is in danger. Woe to any wolf who dares endanger Kate or any member of Eve's family.
  • Balto is a Nice Guy and a loyal friend but the townfolk believe him to be dangerous ("He might bite you, honey. He's part wolf."). Then he goes on a journey to retrieve the medicine supply needed to save the town's children. He's not expecting thanks when he comes back; he just thinks it needs to be done.
  • Aragh from The Flight of Dragons quickly joins the group to help defeat the evil Red Wizard Ommadon, once he's done saving them from the Sandmurks.
  • Hoodwinked!: Where the Wolf is a Fletch Expy trying to get to the bottom of a major story.
  • The Wolf Boss from Kung Fu Panda 2 is an interesting example. Despite being The Dragon to Lord Shen, he shares a few traits with Po and cares greatly about the rest of his pack, even standing up to Shen when he orders him to fire on them which gets him killed.
  • Classified from Penguins of Madagascar is a heroic wolf leading a team that rescues small, cute animals. He might be a proud, bragging Jerkass, but he has good intentions.
  • Aisling of The Secret of Kells is a benevolent fairy who sometimes takes the form of a white wolf. Oddly, she leads a pack of scarier-looking Savage Wolves, though she's able to call them off when necessary.
  • In the Shrek movies, The Big Bad Wolf is a good guy.
    • Played with with The Wolf in Puss in Boots: The Last Wish. It's eventually revealed that the character is Death himself, in no uncertain terms, but while his pursuit of Puss is motivated by his own sense of honor, having taken extreme offense at the way Puss repeatedly "laughs in the face of death" and treats his lives carelessly, he also acts with malicious glee and sadism in trying to cut Puss's final life short, and acknowledges that he's "cheating" by doing so. That said, he only fights Puss when he's armed (demanding Puss "pick it up" anytime he loses his sword). When Puss ultimately makes clear he truly values his final life and will fight to defend it, The Wolf accepts that Puss has earned the right to go on living, leaving him in peace (albeit with visible frustration that he didn't get to finish the job).
  • In Wolfwalkers, the wolves are seen by the townsfolk and the Lord Protector as savage beasts that need to be wiped out. After Robyn meets Mebh, she discovers that wolves aren't as bad as she thought, especially when she becomes a Wolfwalker herself. She eventually sides with Mebh and the wolves to protect the forest from destruction and ultimately chooses to abandon human civilization for a life in the wild as a full member of Mebh's pack
  • Some of the police officers in Zootopia are wolves, one even donning a sheep disguise.

    Films — Live Action 
  • Alpha (2018): The story revolves around a young Ice Age hunter tending to and later befriending the titular wolf, showing how dogs first became domesticated. Alpha at first averts this, hunting him with other wolves and snarling at Keda for coming near her injuries. But over time, she plays the trope straight when she starts bonding with Keda, hunting alongside him and protecting him from danger, and she even trusts him and his tribe in taking care of her pups.
  • Never Cry Wolf: * Noble Wolf: The wolf pack members prey mainly on rodents, show a sense of respect for the protagonist's space when he marks his territory as an experiment and are friendly towards each other.
  • White Wolves: The white wolf (or perhaps multiple wolves) is a spiritual and non-malicious character who serves as a Hope Bringer to people in danger and sometimes provides material aid.

  • In Animorphs, the entire team acquire wolf morphs relatively early in the series. Cassie, the most reluctant fighter of them, comes to use it as her default combat morph. It's less flashy than Jake's tiger or Rachel's grizzly bear, but is very fast and has impressive stamina.
  • Avalon: Web of Magic: Stormbringer is the wise protector of nature type.
  • Belgariad:
    • If not totally idealized, wolves are still treated as clever and admirable predators rather than ravening monsters. This is mostly explained by the phrase/idea that the wolves simply have a different system of morality than humans. ("Try to be a little more open-minded")
    • The wolf is the sorcerer Belgarath's preferred secondary form, and his wife was originally a wolf, though her own preferred form is now of a human. Based on her example, wolves are calm fatalists who instinctively know their role in the world and will live as long as necessary to complete their purpose. She also makes a huge sacrifice to enable the Light Prophecy to be fulfilled.
  • The entirety of The Chronicles of Ancient Darkness — the first book is called "Wolf Brother", and it's all about a boy and his wolf.
  • In The Chronicles of Narnia, most wolves are evil and follow the White Witch, but there are good ones in Aslan's army. Sadly, they don't play a role in the plot though. Their existence is easily missed as they are only briefly mentioned.
  • The Canim from Jim Butcher's Codex Alera are anthropomorphic Wolves. They actually fit this trope both ways — most of the Alerans hate and fear them because of their great skill and physical power and ruthless raiding habits, but Tavi learns to have a great deal of respect for their culture. The Canim generally are treated as the Alerans' Worthy Opponents.
  • Fenrir gets this characterisation when he pops up in the Copper-Colored Cupids story The Winter Quests, being aware that he and Loki need to remain imprisoned until Ragnarök for the greater good, and not allowing his brother Jörmungandir's schemes to release their father "ahead of schedule".
  • Darkest Powers: Derek is a werewolf with an instinctive need to protect his "pack", i.e., his supernatural buddies. The 'noble' aspect is downplayed because he's also a Jerk with a Heart of Gold.
  • Discworld:
    • The Fifth Elephant is a complicated case. A wolf's natural instincts include killing any werewolves they come across, (even Angua) but for a good chunk of the story they are kept in line by another wolf. Even then the wolves are not portrayed as evil. Angua accepts that they have some pretty good reasons to hate werewolves.
    • At one point in the book, Vimes, who has escaped from the Dwarfs, seeks shelter from the weather under some bushes in the forest. He realises that some wolves have the same idea only after he's under cover. He's so exhausted, he doesn't care. In the morning, the wolves are gone, and he realises that if he tries to follow them, last night's time out might not apply any longer.
  • Aargh/Aragh from Gordon R. Dickson's The Dragon Knight novels, a rather large, very proud and powerful English wolf. It's implied that all English wolves are like him.
  • The Dresden Files:
    • Tera West is a real wolf who turns into a human, and is disgusted by how some evil werewolves are acting, because animals don't kill for fun, only to get food or to protect themselves or territory.
    • Speaking of werewolves, the Alphas are also a good example in their own way — simply heroic young people who have learned how to turn into wolves and use that ability to protect innocents. They rather stand out from the various more "savage" other werewolves seen in Fool Moon in particular in that way and become recurring cast members.
  • The protagonist of Firstborn is a magpie, however most of the characters are wolves. Though not all wolf characters are heroic, most of them are gentle towards their friends and especially family.
  • In Robert E. Howard's The Hour of the Dragon, Conan the Barbarian's rescue of an old woman is assisted by a wolf, which turns out to be tame.
  • Grimya in Louise Cooper's Indigo series, who's such a loyal friend to The Heroine as to be granted immortality by a divine emissary in order to better share Indigo's burden. Indigo herself in shapeshift form may also count.
  • Julie of the Wolves: The wolf pack.
  • In The Jungle Book, protagonist Mowgli is raised by a pack of these.
  • In the Kate Shugak novels, Kate's loyal-unto-death Canine Companion, who has saved her life on countless occasions, is a wolfdog (a wolf-dog hybrid) named Mutt.
  • The lupinoids in Ketrin can bond telepathically with humans. Several of the heroes end up with lupinoid friends.
  • The whole cast of Louise Searl's Kona's Song are portrayed this way. Even the villain has his reasons.
  • Although the accuracy of Farley Mowat's Never Cry Wolf has been disputed, it cannot be denied that the book helped change a lot of minds about the true, and far less threatening, ways of the North American wolf.
  • One Stormy Night plays with this trope. The main wolf, Gabu, values his friendship with the goat Mei too much to eat him even when on the verge of starving. The rest of his pack are not so noble.
  • Shasta in Olaf Baker's Shasta of the Wolves is a feral child raised by wolves in the Pacific Northwest.
  • In A Song of Ice and Fire, most wolves are considered Savage Wolves, but the semi-supernatural direwolves from north of the Wall are much more intelligent and human-like. The direwolf is notably the Animal Motif of the famously honourable House Stark, and the litter adopted by the Stark children vary according to the personality of their owner and how well they're trained. Among the more heroic are:
    • Grey Wind and Ghost, Robb's and Jon's respectively. They are trained Attack Animals who will attack only at their masters' command and to hunt.
    • Summer, who is Bran's. Got his name after protecting Bran from an assassin. Since Bran is The Beastmaster, he can enter Summer's mind and control him at will. After a long time as a Bond Creature, it's hard to distinguish where Bran's mind ends and Summer's begins.
    • Nymeria, who is Arya’s, protected her master from Joffrey when he tried to kill her because she protected her friend from his cold-blooded amusement. Unfortunately, because of the bloody arm-thrashing Nymeria gave him, Arya had to force her loyal pet to run away to protect her from Cersei’s wrath. Nymeria is now the leader of an extremely large wolf pack in the Riverlands.
    • Lady, who is Sansa's, is a fully tamed, gentle, and sweet-natured housepet. She gets unjustly killed off in the first book.
  • Spice and Wolf plays with this trope.
    • The leading lady, Holo, is a wolf deity. Her true form is so big and scary that Lawrence (her Love Interest) shat himself the first time he saw it; so does everyone else. On the other hand, she only takes this form to protect Lawrence and proudly calls herself a "wise wolf". She is haughty, self sufficient and can be cruel, but she's also wise, well-meaning and was once a village patron deity that helped bring good harvests.
    • Another (nameless) wolf deity is much less friendly but still grants the duo safe passage through his forest after Holo gets on her knees and begs him to.
    • Wolves in general are seen as threats by humans but Holo points out that humans are seen as threats by wolves.
  • Briggan of the Spirit Animals series. One of the fifteen Great Beasts of Erdras and the spirit animal of Connor.
  • Survivor Dogs:
    • Zigzagged with Alpha. On one hand, he is seen ruling over his pack of wild dogs with a strict paw and a level head. However, he's showed his cowardly side in Darkness Falls, treats the Leashed Dogs like crap, and dislikes Lick (later renamed Storm) all because she's a Fierce Dog. In The Endless Lake, though, this trope finally get subverted as he eventually betrays his pack to join the Fierce Dogs.
    • Played straight with the wolf pack healer in The Exile's Journey, where she helps Bella give birth to her and Arrow's puppies at the cost of being briefly exiled.
  • A minor character in the first The Sword of Truth novel had to be turned into an animal to lessen the effect of the irreversible magical brainwashing he'd been subjected to. He chose to become a wolf because wolves fight as a pack to defend their young and as a Friend to All Children he could relate. The Hero also claims that the wolf is "a noble animal" for this reason.
  • Wolves in The Wheel of Time hate Shadowspawn and will go well out of their way to fight them. Because they have no weapons or advanced tactics, they will often lose an entire pack to take down the more dangerous ones, but do it anyway. Indeed they are intended to fight to balance the Darkhounds, wolves corrupted by the forces of evil, referred to by the wolves as Shadowbrothers. However, in the Southern lands they are seen as creatures of Shadow, particularly by the Whitecloaks, because Shadowspawn are rare in those regions and they are known only as dangerous animals.
  • Most of the wolves in Brett Roehr's The Yukon Wolf are portrayed this way.

    Live-Action TV 

    Mythology & Religion 
  • In old Slavic Mythology, some gods were said to take wolves as their avatars, and the animal is a potent symbol of otherworldly power. The animal was so respected that the neighboring nations were said to believe Slavs sometimes turn into wolves themselves.
  • In old Turkic mythology, the Wolf was the Turkic people's ancestor and the Turks' primary symbol throughout the centuries. Even today the gray wolf is Turkey's national animal.
  • In Native American lore, the Wolf often appears as a teacher and mentor.
  • Inuit Mythology: The Amarok/Amaroq can play either this role or that of a Savage Wolf, being both a mentor to a young boy who wanted to become strong, and a vicious hunter of anyone foolish enough to hunt alone at night.
  • In ancient Japan, farmers would try to invoke this trope by worshipping wolves and leaving food at their dens, beseeching them to protect their crops from deer and boars.
  • In Roman legend, the infant Romulus and Remus were suckled by a she-wolf after being abandoned on a hillside. As Romulus and Remus went on to found Rome, wolves and especially she-wolves were used as symbols of the city (along with the eagle).
  • Odin, the Top God of Norse Mythology, is accompanied by a pair of these (along with a pair of Clever Crows).

  • In the final episode of In Strange Woods, a wolf is a symbol of survival and seems to help Shane find Peregrine, and the others to find them during the Final.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In Werewolf: The Apocalypse, the Gaian Garou that do not consider themselves this by default are the ones that recognize gutting the minions of the Wyrm is not enough and strive to do more.
  • Since 3rd edition Dungeons & Dragons, players have it suggested that wolves aren't there for killing.
    • Pro Example: the default animal companion for a druid is a wolf.
    • Counter example: The Always Chaotic Evil vampires can call wolves with their Creatures of the Night ability.
  • Pathfinder: Amaroks, enormous black wolves that hunt alone, are not particularly friendly or approachable, but they're far from malicious. While they habitually stalk and chase those who hunt alone at night, they do so for the express purpose of showing them the foolishness of this behavior — they never kill those they hunt in this way, instead preferring to essentially Scare 'Em Straight. Those who thereafter make a genuine attempt to become better hunters earn the amarok's genuine respect, and earn also a skilled, but harsh, teacher in hunting and wilderness survival.
  • Invoked with the Space Wolves from War Hammer 40000. Amongst the most unambigously heroic armies in the game barring the Salamanders chapter. You do NOT want to trigger their Berserk Button as when pissed off, they can be every bit as dangerous as a Savage Wolf. Even the Inquisition is afraid of them.

    Video Games 
  • Great Grey Wolf Sif from Dark Souls is a sort of cross between this and a Savage Wolf. In the past, he served the late Artorias the Abysswalker as he beat back the creatures of darkness in the name of the Lord of Sunlight Gwyn, and even now guards his master's grave. True to the original trope, Sif is both large and formidable. The player character only comes up to his chest, and in the area where you fight him, there are many swords stuck into the ground and corpses littered around. His opening cutscene shows him leaping off a great stone tower towards the player, removing a Big Fancy Sword from the ground with his jaws, and flipping it to the other side dramatically. Prepare to Die.
    • Despite carrying the sword in his mouth, Sif fights with moves similar to his master Artorias, who was the greatest swordsman of his era.
    • In the expansion, you can save Sif in the past and he'll aid you in fighting Manus... but this changes to his cutscene in the present, where he pounces you ready to bite your head off, then realizes who you are and lets out an anguished howl before whimpering and picking up his sword. He's much less aggressive in his fight, as if unable to fight at his full ferocity against his savior.
    • The sword he used reappears in Dark Souls II. Sif's soul is still burning bright within it untold cycles later and it remains an effective weapon despite its poor condition. Some players used it to slay the Children of Dark to grant Sif a measure of vengeance for his old master.
    • The Ashes of Ariandel expansion for Dark Souls III features the Gravetender Greatwolf, who is an obvious callback to Sif. The Greatwolf aids the Champion's Gravetender in watching over the grave of their long dead master, just as Sif did for Artorias.
  • Wolf generally tries to depict wolves realistically, but was made with the intent that seeing how they live would make people care about them. The information snippets are definitely written with a Noble Wolf in mind.
  • Ōkami: The sun goddess Amaterasu takes the form of a fluffy white wolf with red markings and Reality Warper powers, and goes around Nippon helping people, beating up evil demons and generally making the world bright and beautiful. While technically she is a goddess and not a real wolf, she behaves very much like a friendly, playful (and occasionally naughty) dog.
  • Ōkamiden stars Amaterasu's son, the adorable puppy protagonist Chibiterasu. He's not as dignified as Ammy but he makes up for it in cuteness.
  • The Rawulf race from Wizardry games are playable anthropomorphic wolves. This is a unique take on them — as they have a well-rounded build, but with more Piety than most races, making them a good choice for Lord (think of Paladin), Valkyrie, and Priest classes. Rarely do you see a wolf-like race associated with support!
  • Wolf O'Donnell of the Star Fox series. Originally presented as a generic "evil Star Fox", the later games showed him to be a gruff pilot with a sense of honor, teaming up with Star Fox in many an occasion.
  • In The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Link turns into a wolf in the Twilight Realm. Later in the game, he gains the ability to turn into the wolf at will. Thus, he's a knight in furry armor.
  • Monster Rancher: Tiger of the Wind is (overly) proud and often rather ruthless yet brave and loyal to the point of death.
  • Luceid, the Guardian of Desire from the Wild ARMs series, takes the form of a wolf and is frequently the only Guardian strong enough to take a physical form without a medium.
  • Metal Gear Solid: Sniper Wolf, who apart from the name has many pet wolves and many of the traits of this trope with a dollop of Savage Wolves thrown in for good measure.
  • Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots: After you kill (or tranquilize) Crying Beauty, a wolf comes to her side and, after doing a Howl of Sorrow, lifts her onto it's back before walking into the night. This wolf is implied to be Sniper Wolf's spirit, come to take her fellow wolf to a final resting place.
  • World of Warcraft: With a few exceptions, the portrayal of any wolf that isn't a Random mob is a noble creature/spirit to be respected.
    • The Orcs ride large, befriended wolves as mounts in the strategy game. The supplementary material has the bonded wolf as one of the orc's closest companions.
    • Even a wolf you do kill is also respected and revered by the local natives, even if none truly mourn Ghost Howl's death due to his unfortunate insanity. Still, one of three spawn points of said mob puts it in a good spot to eat newbie characters without any chance for retaliation.
    • King Varian Wrynn is generally associated with these. Most notably the Wolf Ancient, Goldrinn aka Lo'gosh, whom he was named after while he forgot who he was and was pressed into being a Gladiator.
    • Many Worgen are literally Noble Wolves, as in, Aristocratic werewolves with a Cockney accent.
  • Pokémon:
    • Mightyena looks more like a striped hyena, but its behavior is more wolf-like in that it lives in packs and knows the move Howl. It's Dark-type, but is described as being very loyal to a skilled trainer.
    • Midday form Lycanrocs, Rock-type wolf Pokemon, are known for carefully avoiding unnecessary fights with each other in the wild, and are unfailingly loyal to trainers who were patient with the rebellious nature of their pre-evolved form. Unusually, they're portrayed as strictly solitary Pokemon. Dusk form Lycanroc, meanwhile, are typically calm and not easily shaken. They are contrasted by Midnight form Lycanroc, which are a better fit for the Savage Wolf.
    • Pokémon Sword and Shield introduced two Legendary Pokemon in the form of Zacian and Zamazenta, armored wolves who wield a sword and shield respectively that are treated as the Galar region's guardians in legends. 20,000 years ago, they protected the Galar region from an Ancient Evil called Eternatus, who induced The Darkest Day onto the region until it was sealed up.
  • Animal Crossing has some anthropomorphic wolves as villagers. This trope is played straight as long as you trust them.
    • The Cranky wolf villagers might overlap with Savage Wolves trope which is also sometimes downplayed, since they aren't as much savage, and there are No Antagonist in the game.
  • Sylvan from Romancing SaGa. Cluadia's female wolf protector.
  • Volk from Arc the Lad: Twilight of the Spirits was a humanoid wolf species of the Deimos (monsters) that wielded an axe. He starts the game with a hatred of the humans, but he ends up fighting alongside some in the last half of the game for the greater good.
  • Suikoden Tierkreis: King Diulf is the king of the Furious Roar tribe, and a very powerful and loyal ally.
  • Shining Tears has Volg, a former Beastman Commander who now runs a tavern, who raised Mao away from the Beastman city to prevent from for being shamed. Despite being old, he fights quite well.
  • One of the creatures available to you in Black & White 2 is a wolf that can be either a Noble Wolf, a Savage Wolf, or something in between, depending on what you train it to do and how you play the game in general. It's appearance is adjusted accordingly, with the evil version having larger fangs and claws, the good version being much lighter in color and smiling more often, and the neutral being intermediate between the two.
  • Bound by Blades is set in a world populated by anthropomorphic animal warriors, with the heroes' mentor and Big Good being a wolf named Eldros.
  • In the Nancy Drew computer game "The White Wolf of Icicle Creek", the titular white wolf, named Isis, turns out to be this type of wolf, as she saves Nancy twice. This is because Isis was rescued by a hermit named Julius Mc Quade who unwittingly imprinted himself upon her, so that Isis stayed with him and lost any fear of humans she might have otherwise had. In the end, Isis is adopted and taken to a wolf sanctuary so that she will be safe.
  • In The Elder Scrolls series' lore, Sai, a Deity of Human Origin God of Luck celebrated in the Iliac Bay region, is associated with wolves. Sai was Born Lucky, with the uncanny ability to spread good luck to others but not to himself. After he was killed in battle (while all of his fellow soldiers survived), he was resurrected and granted immortality by Ebonarm, the Iliac Bay War God, so that he may continue to spread his good luck and help to balance the world. After his resurrection, he spent time Walking the Earth with a gray wolf companion named Grellan. Later, he would meet and settle down with a Nord woman named Josea, with whom he had a daughter. However, staying with her unbalanced the world by bringing too much good luck to the region. He was visited by a procession of gods, including Ebonarm and the Aedric Divine Mara, who punished him by taking away his physical body. They demanded that he set things right, which took 150 years to do. During that time, he begged Mara for a body, so she allowed him to occasionally take the form of a wolf. To this day, many Nords are hesitant to kill a wolf except in self defense because it might be Sai.
  • In Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn the two Wolf Laguz present in the game are both on the side of good, and when shifted can be some of your most effective characters in the levels you control them in.

  • Gunnerkrigg Court:
    • His true form is that of a fox, but after being trapped in Annie's stuffed wolf and his Character Development starts, Reynard fits this trope. Also invoked literally: Rey has two forms — a small stuffed toy, and a larger wolf that is much more elegant. Typically, he stays in toy form when acting as comic relief, but switches to the other shape when feeling especially "noble" or attacking someone.
    • Ysengrin appears to be a Noble wolf by default (if a bit guarded, proud, and standoffish), but his temperamental nature and very possibly Coyote's influence cause him to swing between this trope and Savage Wolf depending on his mood and the situation.
  • The Order of the Stick: Argent is a wolf who serves as the loyal steed of The Paladin Hinjo.
  • The Cyantian Chronicles has Syris Akaelae, who has been so successful during several wars that the artists among his enemies depict him as a god of war! Thankfully, he's also got a heart of gold.
  • Dominic Deegan: The werewolves of the Winter Archipelago are generally depicted this way, with emphasis on the literal meaning of noble in that the clans are more like royal houses and their members tend to be rather arrogant and condescending toward the other races, particularly humans. There are also some aspects to their culture which are a bit uncomfortable (not the love of nudity, but how they treat those in their society who can't fully change, their tendency to have a Hair-Trigger Temper, and how their rules and clannishness can make it easy to offend and be rejected by them). But overall they are a good, wise, and brave people. Lord Milov Danovich is the best example of the trope, despite his flaws.
  • In the furry Space Opera Lancer: The Knights of Fenris, Rolf Garret is an anthropomorphic wolf who is depicted as a brave, heroic mentor to the three young pilots under his command, one of whom is a former Street Urchin who regards him as a Parental Substitute.

    Web Original 
  • The Courage Wolf meme. Also has an Evil Counterpart called Insanity Wolf.
  • Wolves are the dominate animal species on many art and role play sites, with more of them being portrayed like this than as Savage Wolves. Apparently, after keeping livestock became less common as a way of life for many people and the myth of them being evil begin to clear up, humanity realized wolves are beautiful animals and begin to like them a lot. Enough people begin to do this in an ignorant way that the term "wolfaboo" (derived from "weeaboo") emerged. It generally demotes people that are obsessed with wolves, value wolves over people, and deny, defend or even glorify wolf attacks on people, though just as often normal people who happen to like wolves get saddled with the term.

    Western Animation 
  • Beast Wars: As a Fuzor who's part wolf and part eagle, Silverbolt is one of the most heroic and loyal Maximals.
  • Young Justice has Wolf, a big white wolf and one of many wild animals injected with the Kobra venom (a combination of Bane's steroids and the blockbuster formula). Starts off as a Big Bad Wolf that Superboy fights, but fights alongside him after Superboy removes the mind control collar, and decides to stay with Superboy instead of return to the wild. The Super Strength granted by the venom makes him a very useful fighter.
  • Jonny Quest episode "Werewolf of the Timberland". The First Nations member White Feather had a wolf companion named Grey One. Grey One could understand English and obeyed White Feather like a loyal dog. He also rescues Dr. Quest and Race Bannon from a gold-smuggler boss who dresses as a werewolf to scare away intruders.
  • In Ben 10, one of the many forms the protagonist can assume is Benwolf/Blitzwolfer, a Werewolf-like alien. The alien he sampled it from was an example of Savage Wolf, but Omniverse reveals the species as a whole isn't evil.
  • Loopy De Loop, a Hanna-Barbera creation for theatrical release (their first such since leaving Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer), was a kind-hearted, Quixotic wolf out to dispel the notion that all wolves are mean. It usually backfires on him as the universal belief is that all wolves are mean.
  • Samurai Jack: A white wolf that got out of a massive fight with three alien tigers comes to the injured Jack in a cave, hunting for him and helping him tend to his wound. It even keeps Jack warm at night. But the wolf has its limits, for it flips out and snarls and barks at Jack for trying to cleanse off its own wound.
  • Star Wars Rebels has the loth-wolf. In its debut appearance, it saves Ezra and Sabine from The Empire. A whole pack of them then prove instrumental in saving all of Lothal.
  • The titular character of Fangface is a heroic werewolf, despite his tendency to attack Puggsy.

    Real Life 
  • As mentioned in Mythology, Turkey uses the grey wolf as a national symbol because of the historic connection between the Turkic peoples and the wolf.
  • Modern Italy uses the wolf as a symbol based on the legend of Romulus and Remus being suckled by a she-wolf (also as mentioned in Mythology). That same symbol also appears in the crest of AS Roma, a successful football club from the capital. The Italian wolf, a subspecies of grey wolf endemic to the Italian Peninsula, is also the country's national animal.
  • Wolves are highly social animals who live in packs. Each member of the pack protects each other and share everything together.
  • Wolves, in modern times, are one of the most popular and beloved animals in the world due to being social, friendly, and intelligent.
  • There is a clip online of a she-wolf (named Black Spot by researchers) protecting her adopted pups (yes, adopted. She helped another she-wolf raise her pups, including by nursing them) from a aggressive intruder by running ahead of the intruder and blocking the entrance of the den with her body.
  • A cartoon wolf named Vučko ("little wolf") was the popular mascot of the 1984 Winter Olympics in Sarajevo, and his name and image are still a nostalgic presence in the city.
  • According to the documentary “The Valley of the Wolves”, sometimes wolves are willing to share their food with other creatures. But understandably, they will more often than not, get touchy about the food that they earned through hard effort.
  • Male wolves mate for life and are amongst the best fathers in nature, being just as involved in raising the cubs as the mother. In a meta example, the trope Papa Wolf comes from this very trait regarding male wolves.
  • The name "Adolf" literally means "noble wolf". Unfortunately, it's kind of been sullied permanently by a certain someone.
  • One of the mascots for the American indoor water park chain "Great Wolf Lodge" is a duo of anthropomorphic young wolves named "Wiley" and "Violet". Wiley and Violet are friendly wolves who enjoy going out on adventures with their friends Sammy the Squirrel, Oliver the Raccoon, and Brinley the Bear. During the Summer of 2022, the chain launched an animation division known as "Great Wolf Entertainment" dedicated to creating animated content starring the characters beginning with "The Great Wolf Pack: A Call To Adventure" released September 7th, 2022.
  • In the state of Colorado, politically conservative pundits and radio talk show hosts such as Jon Caldara and Steffan Tubbs blamed this trope for the passage of Proposition 114 in 2020, a voter-approved measure which would reintroduce gray wolves to the Western Slope of the state by 2023.

Alternative Title(s): Noble Wolves