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A single-handed sword from post-medieval Europe designed to use the advantages of thrusting and serve as a fashionable sidearm, the rapier is often depicted in pop culture as belonging to the higher classes, or at least those with some suave demeanor. If a character has one, you can expect that character to be a noble, an elegant knight, or a high-born lady who knows how to fence. Even a common-born character can use a rapier if they have a certain flamboyance or sense of style that distinguishes them from the rabble; charming rogues such as the swashbuckling pirate and The Bard often get this treatment. If this is an Impoverished Patrician or Fallen Princess, they might hold onto a rapier as a remnant of the social status the character once enjoyed.

If your characters are living in The Cavalier Years, and especially if musketeers are involved, you can definitely expect them to use rapiers. In fact, you'll be lucky if you get to see fictional musketeers use the actual muskets they're named after at all, because Heroes Prefer Swords and guns are for cowards. Due both to their pop-culture association with nobility, and their supposedly lighter weight making them easier to wield for those without massive upper-body strength, it's common for the Lady of War to use one.

In reality, the rapier weighs about the same as other one-handed swords: It has more material in its hilt, and the weight its blade loses by being narrower is partly offset by its length and thickness. note  If fictional rapiers are associated with anything negative, it will probably be the craze for dueling that spread like a disease through the upper classes at the same time, as depicted in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. There's also the fact that many cultured villains and antagonists, such as Tybalt in that play, also use one. In reality, the historical rapier was not really the sword of the upper classes; it was a civilian sidearm associated first with churls, rapscallions, ne'er-do-wells, highwaymen, ruffians, and (gulp!) fencers. Only later, when nobles started to duel and wear swords to court did a thin, light thrusting blade come to be associated with high social status. See Real Life, below.

Flynning and Slice-and-Dice Swordsmanship are common in fictional rapier fighting, despite the fact that the rapier is generally better at thrusting than it is at cutting. This is largely justified in stage fighting where the lack of masks presents a real danger of poking someone's eye out, and for dramatic reasons as well. Real rapier fights are more economical in movement, and tend to be over very quickly. That would be anticlimactic, difficult for the folks in back to follow, and the gory skewering at the end is more difficult to simulate and not kid-friendly. That last one is less of an issue in films, animation, and videogames, but people are still accustomed to the idea that sword fighting means waving your sword around because of The Coconut Effect.

Remember, don't just add an example because someone in a story uses a rapier. You have to explain how its form or the way they use it sheds light on the character's backstory, upbringing, and personality, and makes them look classy or noble. For more information about real rapiers, see Swords and European Swordsmanship. Fictional swords called rapiers might not have all the features of historical rapiers, but any example should at least be single-handed with a straight, symmetrical, and relatively narrow blade; a fancy hilt is optional.

This trope also accommodates the early rapier or "side sword,"note  as well as its daintier eventual replacement, the smallsword. For the curved, more militaristic sword the rapier is sometimes confused with, see Suave Sabre.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • The main weapon of Esdeath from Akame ga Kill! is a giant rapier. She's a well-spoken, impeccably dressed general who shows herself to be well-versed in topics such as the environment, warfare, and torture.
  • Armed Girl's Machiavellism: Mary Kikakujō is half-French and acts like a noblewoman. She wields a rapier, which tends to catch her Japanese opponents who are more used to facing katanas off guard. For example, since a rapier specializes in thrusting, she can fight in a narrow corridor with ease, something that would hinder a katana user. A rapier can also easily penetrate chainmail armor that would stop a katana.
  • The Asterisk War: Julis von Riessfeld is an actual princess (albeit of a constitutional monarchy) and uses a Lux in the form of a rapier, Aspera Spina.
  • Berserk: Serpico wields a saber during the Conviction arc, and later receives from the witch Flora a sword made of feathers infused with wind elementals that let him throw winds around. However, during his visit to Vritannis with Farnese when they had both left behind Flora's gifts, he uses an actual rapier to fight Guts in the hall of pillars. Serpico was born a street urchin, but is the illegitimate son of a nobleman and was given a position (and presumably an education) in his household at a young age, and so acts with the culture and sophistication of a young gentleman.
  • Elizabeth Midford from Black Butler is an expert fencer, and uses a rapier to kill zombies, and on a sinking Titanic expy, no less. For bonus points, there is Dual Wielding going on.
  • Bleach:
    • Chojiro Sasakibe's zanpakuto has the appearance of a rapier in Shikai form. He's also an honorable man and anglophile, and his zanpakuto's appearance in Shikai is most likely to add to his Western look.
    • Findorr Calius's zanpakuto is a rapier in its unreleased form. He's also a long-haired blonde whose Hollow Mask resembles a dueling helmet and is shown to have very pretty looks underneath.
  • The Big Bad of Blood+, Diva, is a vampire queen with a public identity as a famous singer and is one of the more stylishly dressed characters in the setting. She uses a smallsword in her final battle against her sister Saya, who uses a katana.
  • The Caerula Adamas of Cute High Earth Defense Club LOVE! are the high-class members of the cast in civilian form and they each have a rapier as magical boys.
  • Fried Justine from Fairy Tail, who can even use it like a pen to write runes. He's usually very calm and collected, and is the leader of the Raijin Tribe. His rapier is most likely to complement his outfit, which resembles that of a French nobleman's.
  • Fate/Apocrypha: Jeanne d'Arc is depicted as carrying a rapier even though her primary weapon is her flag. The Fate franchise tends to play up Jeanne as a noble, ladylike figure, despite the fact that the historical Jeanne was a peasant girl, and if anything would have used a common broadsword in battle. Fate/Grand Order takes this further, with two characters notably equipped with rapiers. Androgynous 18th Century French soldier, personal spy in service to King Louis XV, and diplomat Chevalier d'Eon wields a rapier as their primary weapon in battle, while Mash Kyrielight keeps one on her belt upon gaining her 3rd Ascension befitting her status as a Demi-Servant fusion with Galahad, a knight of King Arthur's Round Table. It's theorized that it may just be a Weapon for Intimidation however, as she has yet to be seeing using it and instead prefers to Shield Bash her enemies.
  • Suzunosuke Mamiya from Gamaran uses one and has two more with him just in case. In this case, Suzunosuke takes advantage of the rapier's flexible blade to move it at high speed, confusing the opponent and stabbing him. Gama managed to render this weapon useless by looking carefully at Suzunosuke's movements as he attacked to predict the next blow. While he's not a noble of sorts (more likely a Ronin) he does have the suave, swashbuckling look of a rapier user, looking more delicate and classier than the average Muhou Ryuu commander (he even has a beauty mark!).
  • In Goblin Slayer, the lady-turned-adventurer Noble Fencer's Ancestral Weapon is a bejeweled sidesword, an early version of the rapier.
  • Gundam:
    • In Mobile Suit Gundam, M'Quve's YMS-15 Gyan uses a beam saber with the round cup hilt of a Spanish rapier, signifying that it's designed for thrusting attacks rather than the usual katana-like slashes. Given his aristocratic tendencies and cultured behavior, this makes a lot of sense.
    • Mobile Fighter G Gundam: George de Sand's GF13-009NF Gundam Rose uses a beam rapier. His family is wealthy and powerful, and he styles himself as a knight fighting to uphold the honor of Neo-France.
  • In JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, Jean Pierre Polnareff's Silver Chariot is an armored swordfighter who uses a rapier. Polnareff sees himself as a Knight in Shining Armor.
  • In Knights, whose setting seems to be The Late Middle Ages giving way to The Cavalier Years, most of the country's aristocratic knights dress like 17th century musketeers and use the fashionable swept-hilt rapier, which marks the protagonist Mist as old-fashioned for continuing to use the traditional longsword. Early on we meet Sir Leonard Scott, a rapier-wielding knight of the Church nicknamed "Knight of the Carpet" for having a greater reputation as a flirt than as a warrior. Nevertheless, he is very competent in combat and is impressed when Mist manages to defeat him. Sir Wilhelm, the "Wave Knight" is similar in looking like The Dandy but also being a Master Swordsman.
  • The manga adaptation of The Legend of Zelda: Oracle Games has Ralph, a descendant of the royal family of Labrynna, trying to kill Veran with a short rapier. This is a departure from the game, where he used a traditional arming sword instead. Cap'n, the cultured undead lover of Queen Ambi, also carries a rapier to contrast the staves and daggers wielded by his men.
  • In Log Horizon, Nyanta, gentleman cat and resident Supreme Chef wields dual rapiers and even asserts that "a rapier is a gentleman's weapon".
  • Magic Knight Rayearth: This is the form taken by Umi's sword, partially justified since she's the captain of the fencing team in her school. She's also an Ojou, having the high-class background to match the trope.
  • Invoked in Magi: Labyrinth of Magic with the "Royal Sword Style", which is modeled after fencing and, as the name suggest, only taught to royalty. Users that play this trope 100% straight are Jamil, who was trained in the Royal Sword Style and uses a rapier in combat (or to torture his slaves) and Al Thamen's Bjorn, whose clothes calls to mind a pirate swashbuckler and is likely a fallen noble of sort. Alibaba uses this style with a dagger rather than a rapier, and his master Sharrkan wields a black scimitar thin and delicate enough to pass for a fencing saber. Both of them are of royal blood as well.
  • Subverted in La Seine no Hoshi. The titular hero was trained in fencing by a nobleman (and is engaged to his son), but carries a similar-looking but much heavier basket-hilted straight-bladed cavalry sword. She did once fight a nobleman who had one... And broke it, as rapiers are not suited to block such a heavy sword.
  • While it's technically a Sword Cane, a lot of Brook's fighting style in One Piece is fencing with a thin blade mixed with quick-draws. Downplayed in that he is not high-class or suave— in fact his social skills have deteriorated from long isolation— but fits the "entertainer" mold mentioned in the description.
  • In Revolutionary Girl Utena, members of The Beautiful Elite duel to gain the power of a prince who is trapped in a magical castle. The aesthetics of the anime are heavily based on fairy tales and cavalier-type settings a la The Rose of Versailles. The main character, Utena, may or may not be a princess, and dreams of becoming a prince. Several of her opponents, such as Touga, are compared to princes. Most of the duelists, and certainly Utena and Touga, wield rapiers.
  • Subverted in The Rose of Versailles. Oscar is the daughter of a count, a formidable fencer and the bodyguard of the King and Queen of France, but carries the standard-issue sword of a French cavalry officer of the era.
  • In Soul Hunter, Cho Komei (who looks like a french nobleman in mannerism and outfit) wields the rapier-like whip Bakuryuusaku (Dragon-Binding Rope) Paopei, which fits his previously mentioned looks and the fact that he considers himself a Duke. On a smaller note, Tou Sengyoku fights with a thin rapier sword when her Paopei is disabled by Taikobou's new Super Paopei Taikyokuzu during the battle of Bokuya, and she's kinda of nobility.
  • Perrine from Strike Witches, who is a Gallian (French) noble, sometimes carries a rapier in the series' promotional art. In season 2, it turns out that the rapier is the last family heirloom she has which she hasn't sold away. She also uses a different rapier in the same episode her rapier is brought up to defeat a golem.
  • Sword Art Online:
    • Rapiers, notably her <<Lambent Light>>, are the weapon of choice for Asuna. Aside from coming from a well-to-do family, Asuna is also known for being fast and precise, making rapiers perfect for her fighting style.
    • Zigzagged with Shouichi Shinkawa/XaXa. He's a master fencer and he wields an estoc, a thin, sharply pointed sword meant for stabbing. He also turns out to be the scion of a rich family that owns a hospital. On the other hand, Shouchi himself doesn't have the typical personality traits of a rapier user, being rather thuggish and blunt towards other characters

    Comic Books 
  • In Usagi Yojimbo, Rodriguez is a rapier-wielding Master Swordsman who is sent by a royal European court to Japan. His personality does not match his position, however, and the samurai are appalled by his brashness and cruelty.

    Fan Works 


    Films — Animation 
  • In Ferdinand, El Primero is a swaggering, flamboyant bullfighter who wields the traditional estoque.
  • Peter Pan: Captain Hook fights using a narrow rapier with a dish guard. Besides being a swashbuckling pirate, he is quite The Dandy and vain about his appearance.
  • Debuting in Shrek 2, Puss in Boots acts suaver than the other characters, and has a rapier that he's good enough with to fight humans twice his size.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In By the Sword, fencing is portrayed as a refined art. Villard's father's rapier is displayed in a glass case in his fencing school. He later uses it in his duel against Suba during the climax of the movie.
  • Casanova: The title character, a dashing rogue who runs amok in well-heeled society, is flung a fairly fancy fencing foil hidden within a cane.
  • In The Count of Monte Cristo, the Count is taught the steps and thrusts by a philosopher and commander who was imprisoned for refusing to reveal the location of a priceless treasure. Skill with the weapon is explicitly mirrored with improving one's mental faculties. "Speed of hand. Speed of mind." It's portrayed fairly accurately, as well: toward the end of the movie, his noble rival Albert takes advantage of the blade's flimsiness to break the Count's own rapier in two with his own similar, yet more durable blade.
  • Count Dooku from the Star Wars franchise has a lightsaber exclusively designed to mimic the likeness of a Rapier. His fighting style is also based on traditional Fencing, targeting weak spots and raposting over brute force. Though he is also a Sith, Dooku wasn't a self-proclaimed Count since he had great influence, over his homeworld of Serenno.
  • The Crow: Top Dollar is the king of crime in his city. He's not interested in mere financial gain, however. He and his sister live a bacchanal of evil and want to spread discord purely for its own sake. He dresses in fine, outdated outfits and has a whole wall of various swords. His weapon of choice is an ornate rapier. Interesting trivia: his rapier is the Six-Fingered Sword from The Princess Bride.
  • Cruz Diablo: Being a swashbuckler it's hardly surprising this is everyone's weapon of choice, aside from a few pikes that don't see action and a couple flintlocks.
  • The swashbuckler films starring Jean Marais often had him play a heroic 17th or 18th century swordsman using rapiers. It includes La Tour, prends garde!, Le Bossu, Le Capitan, Le Capitaine Fracasse and The Iron Mask (as D'Artagnan). Master at arms Claude Carliez was in charge of the choregraphies in them.
  • In Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, the sword Will Turner forges for Norrington on the occasion of his promotion to Commodore isn't actually a rapier, but rather a smallsword, a shorter rapier-style sword meant mainly as a dress sword. Norrington is an upper class naval officer, betrothed to the daughter of the governor. Moreover, the sword seems tied to his career: During the period he was AWOL, the sword was kept by Lord Beckett, and returned to him upon his return to the fold and promotion to Admiral. After using it in his heroic sacrifice, Davey Jones keeps it and uses it to kill its original creator. It's contrasted by numerous other kinds of swords used in the films, each likewise reflecting their owners' fighting styles and personalities.
  • The Princess Bride: both Inigo Montoya and the Man in Black wield them. Inigo Montoya is the simple son of a swordsmith, albeit a relatively cultured and well-spoken one. The Man in Black, on the other hand, is a dashing pirate.
  • Rob Roy: The British fop, dandy and noble Bastard Bastard Archibald Cunningham uses a rapier. This is all in contrast to the various Scottish clansmen, who are poor and earthy and wield big, heavy claymores. In the opening scene, Archibald mocks a Scotsman's sword as a "cleaver" fit only for slaughtering livestock. Ironically, he meets his demise by one of such swords when Rob Roy finds a way to deliver him a single strike just as it seemed Archibald was going to easily win.

  • In The Chronicles of Narnia, Reepicheep (perhaps the most chivalrous character in the series, an excellent fighter, and incidentally a talking mouse) uses one. The narration explicitly identifies it as a rapier in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.
  • Played straight in The Colour of Magic, the first Discworld novel where it is used to reinforce Rincewind's perpetual incompetence. Rincewind is challenged to a sword fight; his opponent wields a rapier, while Rincewind is stuck with a short sword that looks more like a shovel.
  • Lara Raith from The Dresden Files uses one as her weapon of choice, usually paired with a pistol. As befitting her high status in vampire society, the hilt is encrusted with rubies.
  • The Elenium/The Tamuli: Since this series is set in a culture that mixes the Renaissance and Cavalier eras, the rapier appears repeatedly as a chosen weapon of nobles:
    • When Queen Ehlana of Elenia starts wearing a sword, she chooses a rapier. Besides being the traditional noble's sword, it fits her personality: elegant, beautiful, quick, skilled at the intricate moves of Elenian politics, and deadly when she chooses to be.
    • Gentleman Thief Count Stragen is the bastard son of a corrupt Thalesian nobleman. To show his contempt for his father, he talks and dresses like a noble but acts like the master criminal that he is. Of course he wears a rapier — it's a necessary part of his image.
    • When Puppet Emperor Sarabian of Tamul starts asserting his authority over his government, he consciously patterns his appearance after Ehlana's, including Elenian clothes and an Elenian-style rapier for a weapon. In The Hidden City, he demonstrates the rapier isn't just for appearances when he uses it effectively during an attempted palace coup.
    • Averted hard with Sir Sparhawk. He views himself as Ehlana's bodyguard first and her husband second, so when she tries to get him to wear a rapier as part of his court clothing, he rejects it in favor of his knight's broadsword, a weapon he knows how to use.
  • In the Fighting Fantasy book Magehunter, if you decide to rush Mencius as he casts his spell, you will find yourself wearing regal red clothes and armed with a fancy rapier when you recover. It's because your mind is in the body of Prince Reinhardt, who contrary to the common portrayal of rapier wielders, is a bumbling idiot.
  • The Locked Tomb: The rapier is the official weapon of the Cavaliers, who are Number Two to their House's ruling Necromancer in a Sword and Sorcerer duo. This annoys Gideon, who much prefers longswords. It also Foreshadows the secret behind the Lyctoral office: the Cavalier's soul and expertise are absorbed by the Necromancer, whose Geek Physique requires a light weapon.
  • The Riftwar Cycle:
    • Prince Arutha of Krondor is a literal example: like his brother the King of Isles, he can use any kind of sword, but prefers the rapier. It fits his personality: Arutha prefers quick strikes, parries and feints over either brute force or more complex strategies. At the end of the first series, Arutha's rapier gets infused with a magic-repelling artifact which lets it pierce magical defenses and wound demons and other supernatural foes. Arutha's popularity causes rapiers to become much more widely used in the Kingdom during and after his reign.
    • Street-thief Jimmy the Hand has a serious case of hero-worship for Prince Arutha, so when he is raised to noble rank himself, Jimmy begins wielding a rapier, and soon learns to use it as well as Arutha does.
  • In Scaramouche, the rapier is the weapon of choice of the corrupt upper classes, and particularly the villainous Marquis de La Tour d'Azyr, who has a way of destroying his enemies by provoking them into duels and then curb-stomping them with his superior ability. The protagonist, Andre-Louis, starts studying fencing about halfway through the novel, and ends up good enough to beat most of his opponents even after word gets around and they stop assuming that his lower birth means he'll be unskilled; but even he has to work for his victory when he faces off against the Marquis.
  • Inverted in Shadow of the Conqueror. Rapiers are seen as dirty and dishonorable weapons because they're useless against the Shade, contradicting the whole purpose of why everyone wears swords to begin with. Anyone who uses a rapier signifies that they aren't interested in anything other than winning duels against other humans.
  • Averted by Richard Sharpe; an infantry officer of his rank is normally expected to carry a small and lightweight sabre that's effectively a slightly curved rapier. Being a common soldier who earned a battlefield commission, Sharpe instead totes a whacking great heavy cavalry blade which many lesser men would struggle to wield while dismounted. And before he acquired said sword, when he found himself drafted into a Boarding Party while travelling home from India on a Royal Navy warship in Sharpe's Trafalgar, he developed a certain fondness for the cutlass.
  • In A Song of Ice and Fire, Braavos has an indigenous fencing style called water dancing that uses rapiers. True to the weapon's real life history, the city-state is filled with street-fighting bravos. Westeros favors knightly longswords, but Jon Snow has a slender sword made for Little Miss Badass Arya Stark that resembles a rapier. She receives lessons in the water dancing style. Her swordmaster, Syrio Forel, really is as cultured as his weapon of choice implies (it's unknown if he's of noble blood, however), but the other bravos seen are little more than street thugs in fancy clothing.
  • The Star Wars Expanded Universe has a Laser Blade version of a rapier, called a lightfoil. It was invented by a Sith sect called the Mecrosa Order and adopted by the nobility of the Tapani sector; the latter modified it to be slightly weaker than a more usual lightsaber, but much easier to use for a Muggle.
  • In The Wheel of Time, when Elayne remakes the Queen's Guard to be mostly female, she arms them with rapiers along with some really stunning uniforms.
  • Subverted by Zorro, of all people: he uses a Spanish cavalry sword (that, in all fairness, could be mistaken for a rapier, with whom it shares the sidesword as a common ancestor). Justified as he would fight both unarmoured and armored opponents (a rapier of his time couldn't handle the latter) and both on foot and on horse (a rapier was just not made to fight on horse, while a cavalry sword, while made mainly for mounted fighters, could work in both situations).

    Live-Action TV 
  • In the Firefly episode "Shindig," the local nobility like using these in duels. High-Class Call Girl Inara shows a little proficiency too. And Working-Class Hero Mal shows little. He thinks that Flynning with his means he's winning the fight, not knowing his opponent is just toying with him.
  • Played for Laughs in one episode of Blackadder I, Prince Edmund challenges Lord Dougal MacAngus to a duel. Edmund produces a rapiernote  and flourishes it about extravagantly, but MacAngus effortlessly snaps it in half with his longsword. This is most definitely not Truth in Television.
    • Subverted in the Series 3 finale when Prince George/Blackadder is challenged to a duel by the Duke of Wellington. Despite Blackadder expecting to fight with swords, the duel is fought with cannons.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition and Pathfinder, the rapier has the distinction of being one of the most effective weapons to which the Weapon Finesse feat can be applied, making it a perennial favorite of the sort to favor speed over brute force. The Swashbuckler class even has features that only work with a "one-handed piercing weapon", which de facto restricts them to rapiers.note 
  • Shadowrun features rapiers as available weapons, notably for Street Samurai who were more inspired by Errol Flynn than by samurai movies. 5th edition's Horizon-Flynn rapier is a viable alternative to the katana, having equal accuracy, reach, and armor penetration with slightly less damage, for half the price.
  • In Warhammer Fantasy has Sigvald the Magnificent, whose trademark weapon is an elegant rapier (in sharp contrast to the massive broadswords that most Norscans use). He's a champion of Slaanesh, the god of art, beauty, and pleasure, so being as classy as he is lethal is his entire reason for existence.

    Video Games 
  • ANNO: Mutationem: K, being one of the more well-mannered members of The Consortium, brandishes one of these to duel C to keep him busy while Sigurd casts her spell. For most of the fight they're evenly matched, though he gets disarmed a few times.
  • Jean in Breath of Fire II wields one. And he's a genuine prince too. Likewise for Princess Nina in Breath of Fire I.
  • Castlevania: Curse of Darkness features an enemy called Dead Fencer who skillfully wields a rapier. Described as "a monster endowed with the soul of a noble", it employs a flurry of rapid trust as its main attack which always ends in a polite bow. Stronger versions appear later in the game, including the Dead Baron and the rare Duke Mirage.
  • Pierre from Chrono Cross wields his sword this way as part of his legendary hero shtick, even when he uses the same swords the rest of the cast use. His unique weapon, the Hero's Blade, also looks like one in his concept art, though not as much in-game.
  • One of the weapon types available in Dark Souls, used for quick, repeated thrusts. There's even a unique one dropped by the Undead Prince Ricard, Ricard's Rapier. You can actually find two of them in Dark Souls II for dual-wielding purpose.
    • Dark Souls predecessor Demon's Souls embraces this trope wholeheartedly with a starting class called Royalty. The character is described as "a person of royal descent" and begins the game with a rapier.
  • Dragon Quest:
    • Impoverished Patrician Angelo of Dragon Quest VIII can specialize in them. His nemesis and half-brother Marcello likewise wields a rapier as his weapon of choice.
    • As a stylish person of noble birth, Sylvando of Dragon Quest XI can use any one-handed sword, but he is particularly predisposed to rapiers, including his starting weapon and the unique Shamshir of Light. Rapiers tend to give larger boosts to the user's Charm stat, which directly powers several of Sylvando's abilities.
    • Aurora, the heroine of Dragon Quest Heroes: The World Tree's Woe and The Blight Below has her default weapon as a rapier, always shown with them in cutscenes. It's rather fitting as she is one of the Royal Guards for the king. She does have more slashes than thrusts in her moveset, however.
  • Sima Shi, Yuan Shao, and Liu Shan in Dynasty Warriors 7 and subsequent games. All three of them are nobles and are quite skilled with this weapon.
  • Etrian Odyssey:
    • Etrian Odyssey III: The Drowned City: The Prince(ss) class initially uses Rapiers. So do Buccaneers, which combine traits of Musketeers and Pirates.
    • Etrian Odyssey V: Beyond the Myth: Fencers are trained to excel at combat with rapiers. With such weapons, they're capable of performing follow-up attacks that endorse the offense of their fellows during battle.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Over time, the rapier became the weapon of choice of The Red Mage job, a class of suave fencers with a pimp hat skilled in both black and white magic. Notably, the Joyeuse became a recurring weapon and is always a fencing sword.
    • Larsa from Final Fantasy XII wields one (quite fittingly for a prince of the empire).
    • In Tactics Advance and A2 rapiers are used by the Red Mages, Elementalists, and Fencers, all three of which are Viera only classes.
  • Fire Emblem: The Rapier is the traditional weapon of the main heroes of the Lord class, serving as both an anti-cavalry and armor piercing weapon. More often than not, those who don't use swords (or in Ike's case, those who aren't nobility) are given a functional expy in one of the other weapon types.
  • In The Great Ace Attorney, Prosecutor Barok van Zieks is a well-to-do member of the gentry who wears a small-sword.
  • Fiora, the Grand Duelist of League of Legends. Her lore stated that she used to belong to a family of nobles that has fallen from grace due to her father doing some sort of foul play. A frustrated Fiora defeated her father and set off to beat down everyone she comes across with her rapier to restore her family's honor. Oh and she is extremely smug at doing so, berating her opponents for having "such unrefined style" in combat, what with her fluid and calculating fighting style.
  • The Legend of Zelda: If Princess Zelda is playing the part of Pretty Princess Powerhouse, and is doing so with a sword instead of just magic and/or a bow and her signature Light Arrows, a rapier is her preferred weapon.
  • Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga: Prince Peasley is a hero of the Beanbean Kingdom whose weapon of choice is a slender rapier.
  • Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous: Party member Camellia Gwerm is the illegitimate daughter of a wealthy minor nobleman who fights in a poised and elegant manner with a rapier and buckler, when she isn't using shamanic spells. She only knows how to use the rapier because of her noble background, as shamans aren't normally trained in its use.
  • Persona:
  • Karin Koenig from Shadow Hearts: Covenant is a German officer of noble blood, and wields Rapiers as her preferred weapon. Her fighting style is based on classical fencing, with Special Moves learned by collecting manuscripts from The Ring of the Nibelung.
  • Prince Enrique from Skies of Arcadia uses one. His precise and slightly stiff fighting style expresses his status as a crown prince in self-imposed exile with more booksmarts than battle experience, especially when it's contrasted against the other sword-wielding character in the party, career Loveable Rogue Vyse, who uses a more aggressive and forceful slashing style with dual cutlasses.
  • In Sonic and the Black Knight, Sir Percival wields a rapier. Fitting, since her counterpart Blaze is a princess.
  • Raphael, a Wicked Cultured and insane vampire aristocrat and his adopted daughter Amy from Soulcalibur wield rapiers with finesse.
  • The Suikoden series provides us with quite a lot of characters wielding a rapier:
    • Vincent de Boule, a former aristocrat from the Scarlet Moon Empire, uses one in Suikoden and Suikoden II.
    • Lilly Pendragon carries one in Suikoden III. She also dresses like a musketeer, complete with a big plumed hat. An another character from the same game, Yuber, seems to dual-wield rapiers.
  • Tales Series:
    • Richard in Tales of Graces wields these and is a prince.
    • Saleh from Tales of Rebirth wields one. It's fitting for a suave Smug Snake like himself.
    • Estelle from Tales of Vesperia can wield these as well as Magic Staves. She also wields a shield, and has the highest defense stat by default among your characters. However, she doesn't have many combat Artes, being a better mage than a fencer (although very capable in expert hands).
  • Noblewoman Phiona in Valkyrie Profile: Covenant of the Plume, while a member of the series' Heavy Warrior class, goes with a giant rapier as her weapon of choice, regardless of how little sense that makes.
  • The Tenth Line: As The Princess says, when complemented on her swordsmanship by Tox:
    Of course, beastman! All royalty is proficient in the art of fencing. 'Tis the sport of kings, after all.
  • Three characters in Trails Series' Zemuria Saga so far have this as their weapon of choice, two of which are members of nobility.
    • Kloe Rinz, a student of Jenis Royal Academy from The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky uses rapier as her weapon of choice and is said to be the best among her schoolmates. Considering her real identity is Klaudia von Auslese, granddaughter of Liberl Kindom's Queen and she receives direct training from an officer in Liberl's Royal Army who was also a student of one of the best sword users in the game, it's fitting. Gameplay-wise, players won't use her to attack enemies much since she's arts-oriented character, the one heavily geared toward healing at that. The one who trains her, 1st Lt. Julia Schwarz, is also playable.
    • Elise Schwarzer, Rean's adoptive sister and member of Baron Schwarzer family in The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel is trained to use her family's swordsmanship style. Despite this, she learns the least amount of crafts and she's an arts-oriented character much like her predecessor Kloe. She's also depicted in-game as a polite young lady befitting of her status as a noble.
  • Lady of War Selvaria Bles in Valkyria Chronicles wears one at her side, but she's so powerful as to never need it. In the anime however, it sees frequent use, and is made especially deadly via her inhuman speed.
  • Ys series:

    Web Animation 
  • In Nomad of Nowhere, Don Paragon is a very spoiled Sissy Villain, but an aristocrat all the same. He demonstrates great skill in both wielding and throwing his rapier.
  • In RWBY, Weiss Schnee wields Myrtenaster, a rapier that doubles as a magic wand. It has a revolver-style cylinder in the hilt, and she can spin it to change the kind of dust she uses based on the cartridges loaded in the chambers. She's also the heiress to the Schnee Dust Company and a Rich Bitch until she goes through Character Development.
    • This also applies to her older sister Winter, though she rarely uses her weapon as a simple rapier, instead choosing to break it apart and dual wield twin sabers.

    Web Comics 
  • Ever So Slightly: Resident Rich Bitch Eliana Harrison has a rapier with a sapphire blade allocated to her strife specibus. She also has seven other rapiers.
  • Phantomarine: Phaedra wields an awesome looking sword, to devastating results.
  • Elan the Bard of The Order of the Stick, who became able to use it more efficiently after taking a level in his prestige class, Dashing Swordman, allowing him to add his charisma modifier to his attack rolls instead of his terrible strength score, provided he delivers quips and puns during his fights.

    Real Life 
  • While certainly this trope was often played straight in real life, it was more frequently inverted; the rapier was originally a low-class lout's weapon and remained the sword for scoundrels. Many beautiful examples survive due to survivorship bias: the nice ones were taken care of, but the majority were serviceable weapons that got beat up, rusted, and destroyed by time.
    • In brief, the history would be summarized as the Black Death led to increased urbanization and a wealthy middle class, those city dwellers decided they needed a different sort of sword against unarmored opponents in the streets, and that new sword (the espada ropera, eventually the rapier) was adopted. Eventually a cultural shift led to nobles adopting it for dueling and everyday wear, and nobles started to want lighter versions for everyday wear. Sources: 1, 2, 3,
  • Look at a hundred formal portraits of male aristocrats from 1500-1800. You will find that a very large proportion of them are wearing a fashionable rapier or smallsword. It becomes more prominent as once moves from the Renaissance to the Early Modern period.
  • Museums throughout the world including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Wallace Collection, the Royal Armouries, etc. have hundreds, even thousands of rapiers that were made for rich clients with the greatest artistry. You can search their collections online.
  • King Gustav Vasa of Sweden (14961560) was apparently fond of them. According to an inventory of his possessions made in 1548, he owned no fewer than twelve rapiers.
  • King Henri IV of France (15531610) was another notable rapier fan. When he married his second wife Marie de Medici in 1600 he was presented with a magnificent matched rapier and dagger; they were etched, blued, gilt, and inlaid with mother of pearl. Napoleon Bonaparte took this same sword with him on campaign as a good luck charm. Dueling reached epidemic proportions among the nobility during Henri's reign, and while he made edicts restating the ban against duels, he favored them in private and tended to undermine his own laws by issuing a lot of pardons. When the Marquis de Crequi asked leave to fight Philip of Savoy, he supposedly said "Go, and if I were not a King I would be your second!"
  • Charles V is known to have had at least a couple.
  • Even today, modern Olympic fencing is descended from smallsword and rapier combat and practitioners are usually treated in a more sophisticated manner than with other sports (bar maybe Equestrian Sports, which are also strongly associated with The Cavalier Years) in the media.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Regal Rapier


Lord Martagnan

Martin wakes up as the musketeer Lord Martagnan, who clearly references the real-life musketeer D'Artagnan.

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5 (2 votes)

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