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The Champion

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Delenn: You could be free of all this, return to your studies, to your family...
Lennier: Where you walk, I will walk. I have sworn myself to your side.
Delenn: You do not know...You cannot know what you're saying.
Lennier: Yes, I do. Come what may, Delenn, I will not leave you while I am still alive.

Alice can be The Hero, the Femme Fatale, the Knight in Shining Armor, The Stoic, even The Ditz, but regardless of alignment or characterization there is one rather noticeable pattern in Alice's actions: she always puts Bob first, no matter what. This is because she is Bob's Champion.

The Champion is the character who is The Hero to one specific person. This character is not by default a Knight In Shining Armour or Knight Errant type because they lack the chronic nature of their heroics. Instead they are devoted to the cause/life/honour of one character and everything that it entails. Heroic Sacrifice? Taking the Heat? Kicking a few dogs who happened to get in the way? All's fair.

Though more prevalent in chivalric romance or courtly settings, this trope can be found in settings as banal as a high school. The person who always sticks up for that one bullied kid simply because they're that bullied kid is playing the Champion. Likewise, while it's historically been most common to find a male Champion protecting a passive and helpless woman, niether role is bound to any particular gender.

The Champion will by definition have Undying Loyalty to the one they're devoted to; this may result from a case of I Owe You My Life. If The Champion fails at their task, they will likely become a Failure Knight. Very often the person is championing in the name of love, and may view their love as a Peerless Love Interest. Of course, if the Champion goes to lengths that even their protectee isn't comfortable with, they risk becoming a Psycho Supporter. A Hero to His Hometown is a champion to a larger group. Villainous versions will usually be The Dragon.

Compare Bodyguard Crush and Satellite Character. Lady and Knight is a common manifestation of this. For when the "champion" represents a faction as a whole and is used to battle another as a "faction battle by proxy", see Combat by Champion.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Code Geass:
    • Knights for Britannian royal family members generally tend to take on these roles, such as Suzaku to Euphemia and especially Guildford to Cornelia. Xingke is an I Owe You My Life example.
    • Kallen also acts as Lelouch's Champion for much of the series, being the most dedicated and loyal of the Black Knights. It's even Lampshaded with Lelouch referring to her as Q1 aka the Queen, the most powerful chess piece.
    • Jeremiah Gottwald was a Failure Knight who took this role midway through season 2 in order to redeem his honour by protecting the children of the Empress he admired.
  • Digimon: Partner Digimon are this most of the time to their human partners. Even if their partners become evil, the Partner Digimon will always fight for them and stay loyal without necessarily becoming evil themselves.
  • First Knight Ran Kurono is this towards Sei Ohtori in Hana no Kishi.
  • Alucard to Integra in Hellsing. Alucard might be a complete sociopath, but he definitely has Undying Loyalty towards Integra.
  • Hungary is champion to Austria in Hetalia: Axis Powers, albeit she's willing to let him get molested a little first before she steps in to protect him.
  • Issei Hyodou is this for Rias Gremory in High School D×D. The trope is played with in later arcs, as Issei and Rias both realize this arrangement is causing Issei's growth (both power and Character Development) to plateau and he ultimately steps out of her shadow to become a High-class Devil and her equal instead.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (2016): Link is Princess Zelda's champion by fate and Midna's by choice. With Zelda, this manifests as a supernatural Intrinsic Vow and complete inability to let harm come to her. But if given the freedom to act on his own feelings, he'd forsake everything for Midna.
  • Klaus in Maiden Rose explicitly states that his goal is to help win the war for Taki's pride and honour, having already surrendered all personal rights to be Taki's champion in the first place.
  • Kira becomes this for Lacus midseries in Mobile Suit Gundam SEED. After that point, he doesn't fight for ZAFT or the Earth Alliance, but for the Clyne Faction.
    • Alternative Character Interpretation for Lacus has her actively courting people for this role in order to Take Over the World. The two biggest badasses alive are her Champions by the end of Seed, and the epilogue of Destiny adds a third via Warrior Therapy.
    • Kira also champions his sister Cagalli during the parts of Destiny where Lacus isn't actively doing anything to the point of fighting his own country's forces and the enemy for her. In fact Kira is quite infuriated that Athrun, Cagalli's former fiance, isn't initially her Champion instead, Athrun opting to rejoin the Zaft military and try to fight in a logical fashion, rather than single minded devotion to their close friends, logic be damned.
    • Even in the earliest parts of the series, Kira's motivation to fight on the Earth Forces side is purely to protect his friends who survived the fall of Heliopolis with him.
  • Monster's Tenma may be a hero to many, but he is a definite champion to Nina and Dieter above all.
  • In Negima! Magister Negi Magi, Setsuna is Konoka's bodyguard, and also her best friend since childhood, so as they grew up she became Konoka's champion. (This is slightly complicated by the romantic feelings she has towards Konoka, but she makes it work.)
  • In PandoraHearts, a very prominent example comes in the form of Gilbert Nightray for Oz Vessalius. Gilbert is Oz's servant by choice, as by a certain part of his life he technically becomes a noble. Other nobles who know about his intentional servitude typically look down on him or are bewildered, but he doesn't care. He would follow Oz to the ends of the earth and has said so aloud multiple times.
  • Homura Akemi for Madoka Kaname, in Puella Magi Madoka Magica. It then takes a religious bent after Madoka becomes a goddess in the final episode.
  • Revolutionary Girl Utena is a deconstruction of this idea. Utena is a swordswoman who declares herself Anthy's champion. But while she definitely means well, she is driven more by her desire to be a hero to Anthy, than by a desire for Anthy to be safe. And instead of helping Anthy, this makes her completely dependent on Utena's protection and prevents her from standing up for herself. Ultimately, Anthy is able to grow a spine and take control of her life only when she is forced to kill Utena.
  • Ohta from Tanaka-kun is Always Listless has a big complex of this for his ultra lethargic friend Tanaka, going as far as risking his own tardiness searching for Tanaka and carrying him back to class himself, retrieving tennis birdies stuck near the ceiling during PE because Tanaka fell asleep using two spares to make horns on his head, and chasing after him from an ambiguously far distance (possibly his house) because Tanaka's about to make a mistake boarding the train at the station, among the many other ways he continuously concerns himself with Tanaka before much else.
  • In Thou Shalt Not Die, Kuroi self appointed himself Mashiro's champion and guardian angel, since she is the only one he can feel human around, everyone else in their crew can go straight to hell as he won't even tell them if they are about to step on a landmine until Mashiro orders him to help them.
  • Hayato to Riddle in Undertaker Riddle. Hayato is magically bound to Riddle to protect him from any attack while Riddle prepares a funeral to exorcise evil spirits.

    Comic Books 
  • Kreed becomes this to Nexus. Unfortunately, this overlaps with Psycho Supporter, because as much as Kreed reveres Nexus, he does not really understand the latter's notions of morality (although he is sincerely trying to learn). Very much to his credit, Kreed accepts the penalty for his actions in the end. His son later steps up to become Nexus's new champion.
  • Sabretooth acts this way with of his three love interests, Holly Bright, Bonnie Hale, and Monet St. Croix. He's successfully protective of them at the start of the relationships, but sadly failed all of them in the end.
  • Wonder Woman

    Fan Works 

  • Alice is foretold by the Oraculum to be the one who will stand as the White Queen's champion on the field of battle against the Jabberwocky, in Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland (2010).
  • In the backstory of Brick, Brendan Frye went to such lengths to protect his junkie girlfriend from cartels and drug rings so much she ended up breaking off their relationship and diving into the underground herself. Her death kicks off the movie.
  • A villainous example turns up in The Dark Knight Rises. Bane is the champion to Talia Al Ghul, though whether he's her Dragon or the less-hidden half of her Big Bad Duumvirate is ambiguous.
  • In The King and the Clown, Gong-gil is the only person for whom Jaeng-sang sticks his neck out, but he does so consummately.
  • Will of A Knight's Tale risks his own personal goals for the sake of proving he will do whatever Jocelyn asks of him, breaking bones and nearly losing a tournament in the process. This is due to her calling him out on the idea of "winning for her", as he'd be just as easily motivated to win for his own pride — being willing to sacrifice his pride impressed her far more.
  • MonsterVerse: Dr. Ishirō Serizawa virtually worships Godzilla – scientifically seeing him as a global keystone species and non-scientifically seeing him as a guardian sent by nature to restore order – and he tries to support Godzilla from on the human side and circumvent mankind from attacking him.
    • In Godzilla, Serizawa protests the plan to nuke the kaiju in favor of suggesting they stand back and let Godzilla kill the MUTOs for humanity, hoping that Godzilla will then leave mankind in peace (which he does).
    • In Godzilla: Aftershock, he protests against the U.N. Security Council's insensate decision to let Jinshin-Mushi kill Godzilla, which will ultimately flood a Godzilla-free world with a MUTO horde.
    • In Godzilla: King of the Monsters, Serizawa insists despite the U.S. Senate's derision that humans coexisting with Godzilla in particular is key to mankind's survival amidst the Titans, he protests when the U.S. military intervene in Rodan and Ghidorah's battle instead of waiting for Godzilla to do his thing, and he finally gives his own life to save Godzilla's. The Godzilla vs. Kong novelization reveals that Godzilla has even memorized Serizawa with honor for this last act after he had an up-close view of it.
  • Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones: When Anakin professes his love for Padmé, he says that he will do anything she asks. This...does not go well.
  • The World Is Not Enough: Elektra King sees herself as this for her Azeri mother, her maternal side of the family and her Azeri heritage. Elektra is resentful of the effects of British colonialism, which allowed her father Sir Robert (a British man) to financially abuse his foreign wife.
    Elektra: My father was nothing! His kingdom he stole from my mother. The kingdom I will rightly take back!
    • And later:
      Elektra: It is my oil! Mine! And my family's! It runs through my veins, thicker than blood! I'm going to redraw the map, and when I'm through, the whole world will know my name, my grandfather's name, the glory of my people!
  • X-Men: Days of Future Past: Hank puts his entire life on hold for a decade in order to assist and defend the emotionally dysfunctional Charles. Since McCoy is no longer Professor X's student, they both should be on equal footing, yet Beast continues to readily defer to Xavier's authority. This steadfast devotion demonstrates that Hank values Charles' well-being and safety above his own.

  • The Belgariad has Sir Mandorallen, Baron of Vo Mandor, marked down in the Prophecy as 'the Knight Protector', briefly championing a young Garion, then later becoming this full time to Ce'Nedra a.k.a. 'the Queen of the World'. He got the post by killing a lion to protect her with his bare hands. He remains entirely devoted to her, though it is not remotely romantic on either part - though Ce'Nedra does intend for his devotion/attention to make Garion jealous (because she doesn't feel as if she gets much of reaction out of him otherwise), which she's gently called on by the more worldly Durnik.
  • Book of Ruth: Within the limitations of their time and culture, Ruth is this to Naomi. The younger woman gives up her native land and people to accompany her mother-in-law to a nation where, as a Gentile woman, she would be something of an outsider, then goes to work to support both of them. It works out though — Ruth goes on to become an ancestor of both King David and Jesus.
  • In Deryni Rising Duke Alaric Morgan is actually named "King's Champion" by Kelson on his coronation day. Morgan has been effectively been the Deryni Champion of the Haldanes most of his life; his parents dedicated him to the job before he was born at the end of In The King's Service.
  • In The Dinosaur Lords, Aphrodite makes Karyl her Champion, citing God's Hands Are Tied as the reason. He agrees with her cause, if not her methods.
  • Don Quixote declared himself to be this for the peasant maid Dulcinea.
  • The Dresden Files:
    • Kincaid is hired to be this for The Archive, but it's clear that he has fatherly affection for her, too.
    • Fix and Lily (Lady and Knight, respectively, of the Summer Court) have to stay by each other and protect each other because it's their job, but they love each other deeply and would probably do that anyway. In practice, it's mostly Fix who's the champion to Lily, but sometimes the roles are reversed.
  • In The Elenium trilogy by David Eddings, the knights of the Sparhawk family have served as royal champions to the monarchs of Elenia for generations. The King's Champion (or in the case of the current generation, Queen's Champion) is pre-eminent among servants of the realm. As of The Tamuli, the current generation will be the last — Queen Ehlana arranged to marry her Sparhawk, and it is confirmed by someone in a position to know that their daughter will be their only child.
  • Falling With Folded Wings:
    • Morgan is named Humanity's Champion by the System, pretty much for no other reason than because he happened to be the only person awake when they entered the System. The title gives him some important bonuses. Morgan assumes that it will transfer to Arthur Ballard or someone else with actual authority soon, but for the most part forgets about it.
    • Bronwyn takes her duty as colony security seriously and tries to become the strongest as fast as possible to protect everyone. She does a reasonable job, though she's overshadowed by Morgan's advancements. The Summer Queen tells her about Morgan's title, and hints that Bronwyn should find a way to take it.
  • Andrew LaFollet to Honor Harrington. Officially he's her personal bodyguard, but that's really more of a means to an end for him; his entire life (and his death, if necessary) is dedicated to keeping Honor safe because he is entirely devoted to her personally, not because it's his job description.
  • The Kharkanas Trilogy:
    • It's downplayed, but Gripp Galas takes that role for Lady Hish Tulla, somewhat subverting the expectation of the Chivalric Romance the whole thing whiffs of, which is that Anomander Rake, who is from a noble house house, would take that role.
    • Five-year-old Orfantal dreams of becoming the Champion for someone one day, and being a Knight in Shining Armor. Of course, his dreams take a turn for the dark the moment he gets to imagining being betrayed and stabbed in the back by an ally.
    • Enesdia seems to entertain the idea of Cryl Durav becoming her Champion after her marriage to Andarist, so she can have both of them around. Subverted because Cryl is very much aware of how this would never work.
  • Kim in Rudyard Kipling's book by that name is an interesting example. He acts as this to the Red Lama, protecting his goodness, with Kim's streetwise common sense. In a partial subversion, he is also using the Red Lama as a handy cover for his work as a secret agent of The Raj.
  • The Lord of the Rings:
    • Gimli tokenly champions Galadriel, mainly in upholding her name and honour rather than taking on any protector role (given that as an elf lady, she may well be more powerful than he is).
    • Sam Gamgee is this for Frodo. Sam begins as Frodo's gardener/manservant, and then Gandalf catches him spying on him and Frodo as they have a private discussion about the Ring and "punishes" him by sending him along on Frodo's quest to get the Ring to Rivendell. Sam quickly appoints himself Frodo's caretaker and bodyguard for the entire trip, doing things as disparate as making sure he eats and providing emotional support to attacking anything (no matter how big and vicious) that might cause his master/best friend harm. Frodo blatantly states mid-trip that Sam prevented the quest from ending in disaster while they're discussing the possibility of ending up in songs or tales.
      You've forgotten one of the chief characters, Samwise the Stouthearted..."Frodo wouldn't have gotten far without Sam, would he, Dad?"
  • Malazan Book of the Fallen:
    • As Assassin of High House Shadow Cotillion serves as the champion to Shadowthrone, taking on the more physical obstacles compared to Shadowthrone's preference of scheming and use of obfuscating magic.
    • The Crippled God wants Karsa to be his Knight of High House Chains, effectively making him his champion. The problem is, that Karsa is fairly unwilling to take up the mantle and sabotages this endeavor whenever he can. In the end of Reaper's Gale he even kills Rhulad, the Crippled God's other champion candidate.
  • In The Masked Empire, one of the Dragon Age novels, Michel de Chevin is the formally appointed champion of the Empress of Orlais, responsible for fighting duels on her behalf.
  • In P. G. Wodehouse's Psmith series Psmith is this for his best friend Mike, frequently using his powers as a High-School Hustler to get him out of trouble and generally improve things for him.
  • Alinadar in The Red Vixen Adventures is bodyguard for the Red Vixen and Lady Salli, in the former's case her literal slave, but a very loyal one.
  • Saint George and the Dragon: Una set out alone from the safety of the castle walls to look for a champion who would face the terrible dragon. As a result, she returns with a knight who pledges to fight it for her.
  • The Kingsguard of A Song of Ice and Fire are supposed to be this for the royal family. Not everyone measures up to the positive aspects of it, and like everything else, the series deconstructs what happens when good knights are caught being the champions for bad rulers. It usually means either having to adopt My Master, Right or Wrong, or sometimes deciding to say I Did What I Had to Do, at great cost.
  • In Michael Crichton's Timeline, the medieval history fanatic Andre Marek falls prey to this instinct after hearing Lady Claire's I Did What I Had to Do speech.
  • "King's Champion" is the position given to the best knight in the realm in Tamora Pierce's Tortall Universe. Post-Lioness Rampant, Alanna has held this position as Tortall's first female Champion.
  • In Tsumiko and the Enslaved Fox, Argent eventually adopts this role towards Tsumiko, replacing the forced protection of their bond with a deliberate choice to put her safety and needs above his own.
  • In the Vorkosigan Saga, Bothari is this for Cordelia Naismith. Her husband Aral even says of Cordelia and Bothari's relationship: " are the only person I know who looks at Bothari and sees a hero. So he becomes one for you. He clings to you because you create him a greater man than he ever dreamed of being." And when Bothari dies, his grave is at Cordelia's feet, as her faithful dog.
  • Lampshaded several times in The Wounded Name by D. K. Broster. The main character, Laurent, is entirely devoted to his hero and eventual best friend, Aymar de la Rocheterie.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The 100 has Bellamy as Octavia's champion. This trope embodies their relationship (at least, at first) to the point that his refrain throughout much of the series is "my sister, my responsibility." Since he was six-years-old and she was placed into his arms moments after she was born, Bellamy's goal has been to protect Octavia at all costs. To wit, Bellamy shoots the chancellor to get on the dropship taking Octavia to Earth. She is horrified when he tells her in "Twilight's Last Gleaming":
    Bellamy: I did this for you! To protect you. (reveals that he shot the chancellor)
    Octavia: I didn't ask you to do that.... I didn't ask for any of this.
  • Babylon 5:
    • Lennier serves as Delenn's champion, at one point risking death and then hiding the ugly truth from her when some religious caste members plotted against her rumored plans for handling the Minbari civil war. Ultimately subverted, when Lennier's devotion to Delenn leads him to leave Sheridan to die, (Sheridan survives) after which Lennier went into self-exile.
    • Ta'Lon to Sheridan, after Sheridan saved his life in the second season. Despite this, Ta'Lon has other duties that tend to take up most of his time, particularly helping G'Kar with La Résistance.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Angel. He appointed himself as Buffy's guardian shortly after she was called as a Slayer. Xander as well, due partly to his unrequited feelings for Buffy, which is lampshaded more than once by Angel. Later, the term "champion" becomes a catch-all for any agent of The Powers That Be committed to doing good on earth; Angel, Spike, and Buffy are explicitly classified as such, and a few more characters, such as Fred and Cordelia, are also considered unofficial champions by other characters.
  • In Chuck, Sarah is this for Chuck, as it's her mission to protect him, and eventually, Chuck is this for Sarah. And since this is a show where people do get Killed Off for Real, people are killed, often coldly, to protect each other.
  • In Doctor Who, Rory is Amy's champion. The trope is deconstructed when the Doctor swerves into also being Amy's champion in "A Good Man Goes To War". His single-minded Roaring Rampage of Revenge across time and space in search for Amy when she's kidnapped, and the subsequent sadistic rage he unleashes on her captors when he finds them winds up being highly overkill and emotionally compromises him so badly he winds up accidentally screwing over everyone around him, including Amy, even worse than before. A champion who's The Dreaded and effectively one of the most powerful beings in the universe being dedicated to a rather normal human woman makes mountains out of molehills.
  • In Firefly, Simon is River's champion.
  • The Flash (2014): Barry Allen is the deconstruction of this. The Speed Force, the one that Barry is supposed to be the champion to, is often very cold and aloof towards him. It expects him to always put the needs of everyone else above his and sees to it that he is punished for any misuse of his powers. Yet it doesn't do a thing about evil Speedsters who also uses its power and outright kills innocents. It finally reaches the breaking point when a villain named Ramsay Rosso offers a last-minute reprieve for Barry before the Crisis. At first Barry seems willing to reject it believing it to be a lie, until the Speed Force informs him that Rosso isn't lying, causing Barry to explode into rage over being denied the chance to live happy with his family. At the end of Part 1, Barry ends up accepting Rosso's offer and lets himself get infected because it sounded better than anything the Speed Force has ever done for him.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Brienne of Tarth and Ser Loras Tyrell are utterly devoted to King Renly Baratheon. Brienne and Loras are the heirs to Tarth and Highgarden, respectively, yet they freely choose to dedicate their lives to protecting Renly, whom they value above and beyond whatever duties they presumably have in their home cities. Both knights remain loyal to their beloved king's memory even after Renly is assassinated.
    • Sers Jorah Mormont and Barristan Selmy both become this to Daenerys Targaryen. Jorah is the rightful ruler of Bear Island, but on the run in Essos; Barristan had forsaken King Joffrey after Joffrey attempted to remove him from the King's Guard. Both swear undying fealty to Daenerys. Even Daario Naharis claims to be this for Dany and serves as one during the Siege of Meereen. This is somewhat subverted when it comes to light that Jorah had been spying on her for the Iron Throne from the beginning to their time in Qarth. Though he is now completely devoted to her, he is cast out. She later forgives him, but sends him away a second time so that he might find a cure for his illness.
    • The Kingsguard are supposed to be this for the royal family, but unfortunately not everyone measures up to the positive aspects of it and the series deconstructs what happens when bad rulers force them to choose between My Master, Right or Wrong and I Did What I Had to Do.
    • Davos and Melisandre share this role for Stannis, though they disagree on everything else.
    • Gregor Clegane for Cersei in Tyrion's Trial by Combat. She plans to use him again in her trial by the Sparrows, so the High Sparrow convinces Tommen to outlaw the practice.
    • Sandor Clegane is supposed to serve as one to Joffrey. He actually is one towards Sansa. He offers to protect her from the brunt of Joffrey's malice, but admits he might not succeed. By the end of Season 3, he can be considered a champion for Arya Stark.
  • In Gilmore Girls, Luke was always there for Lorelai since long before they started going out. At one point, she calls him her Knight in Shining Armor merely for letting her cry on his shoulder. Another time, she needed a replacement cook for her inn, and at the end of the day, she called him her white knight.
  • Merlin (1998): When King Arthur decides to lead his knights on the quest for the Holy Grail, he holds a tournament of arms to find a knight to serve as Queen Guinevere's personal champion in his absence. Lancelot wins, thus paving the way for one of the most famous Love Triangles in history.
  • In a later series, also called Merlin, the titular character serves as this to Arthur. No harm will come to the Prince while Merlin is on guard. And if anyone tries...well, they'll regret it. In a slightly lesser sense, Arthur, Guinevere, and Merlin all serve as this for each other, always watching each other's backs.
  • In Penny Dreadful, Ethan Chandler is Vanessa Ives' champion. He states several times throughout the series that his "one goddamned purpose in life" is to protect her, he once took a knife stab to the shoulder meant for her, and he is prophesied as Lupus Dei, her divine protector from Satan and Dracula. Inverted, since he ends up having to kill her to avert the apocalypse.
  • Several examples in Person of Interest. The most notable is Reese, who is Finch's champion: he's hired to help Finch protect the numbers, but ends up devoted to protecting Finch from the many, many powerful people who want him dead. Similarly, Scarface is Elias' champion, and Root is the Machine's.
  • Power Rangers has several examples like Ecliptor for Astronema and Vilemax for Trakeena.
  • Sherlock:
  • Star Trek: Picard:
    • A Qowat Milat in all but name (men are forbidden from becoming members), Elnor swears an oath to Jean-Luc Picard to serve as his qalankhkai. Elnor is thus Picard's protector, and he will do anything he can to help the latter fulfill his quest to rescue Soji.
    • Although Elnor didn't make the Qowat Milat pledge to Hugh, he still acts like a qalankhkai to him. He defends Hugh from their mutual adversaries, and he takes on Hugh's cause, which is to free the xBs from their homicidal Romulan overseers. Despite the fact that there was no vow spoken, Elnor is no less devoted to Hugh than he is to Picard.
  • On Supernatural, Castiel is this for the Winchester brothers, especially Dean. He considers himself their guardian and there seems to be very little he's unwilling to sacrifice for them — he's died for them multiple times and suffers frequent rejection by Heaven and other angels for it, but remains steadfastly devoted.
  • In Wizards of Waverly Place, Justin, for Alex. And Alex for Justin, whenever he happens to turn into a wolf or go crazy.
  • Wonder Woman:
    • This is invoked by Queen Hippolyta: the Amazon winner of a tournament will escort Steve Trevor to his country. Subverted because this is less for his safety than to preserve the Lady Land that is Paradise Island.
      Queen Hippolyta: For his safety — and ours. One of our young Amazon girls will escort him to his country, and then return to Paradise Island.
      Princess Diana: But all the girls will want that task.
      Queen Hippolyta: I know. To forestall any ill feelings, I have planned a tournament of athletic games, by which I alone will determine the strongest, nimblest, and most likely candidate for the assignment.
    • Princess Diana / Wonder Woman is the champion for Paradise Island, for Steve Trevor, and for Liberty and Democracy while she stays in the man’s world.

    Mythology & Folklore 

    Tabletop Games 
  • Games Workshop games:
    • Skulltaker from Warhammer, Warhammer: Age of Sigmar and Warhammer 40,000 is the daemonic champion of Chaos God Khorne and has spent millennia hunting down and challenging the most talented warriors so that he can present their skulls to the Blood God.
    • Warhammer 40,000:
      • Each Adeptus Astartes Chapter has a number of Champions, one for each company and another for the Chapter as a whole. These Champions are the greatest fighters of their Chapter and it is their duty to defeat the most skilled enemy on the battlefield and take part in ritual duels with those who have dishonoured their battle-brothers.
      • While Chaos has numerous champions, each Chaos God has their own favored mortal champion. Khorne has Khârn the Betrayer, Tzeentch has Ahzek Ahriman, Nurgle has Typhus the Traveller, and Slaanesh has Lucius the Eternal. Abaddon the Despoiler himself is the mortal champion of Chaos Undivided, having the favors of all four Chaos Gods.
      • The Visarch is the chosen champion of Ynnead, the Aeldari God of the Dead. It is the duty of the Visarch to fight the champions of his god's Arch-Enemy Slaanesh, as well as lords of all those who oppose the Yannari.
  • Rocket Age gives us Duke Talmuathil, champion to the Martian princess Stavalai, who started off intending to assassinate his third cousin Stavalai and accidentally fell in love with her. His heroism in her service is now entirely genuine.

    Video Games 
  • AdventureQuest Worlds:
  • In Baldur's Gate the loony hero Minsc is the Champion of Dynaheir. Other than that, he'll kill people, if you need him to (with the aid of his trusty Miniature Giant Space Hamster, Boo), but only to protect Dynaheir. GO FOR THE EYES, BOO! GO FOR THE EYES!
    • Following Dynaheir's death at the beginning of the second game, he may adopt one of the female mages in the group and be her Champion instead.
  • In Beyond Good & Evil Double H is Jade's Champion. He is completely devoted to her, and puts his life on the line for her more than once. This is one of the aforementioned I Owe You My Life scenarios.
  • Chrono Trigger has Cyrus acting as both Queen Leene's and Glenn's champion, guarding the former from foreign enemies and the latter from bullies when he was a kid. Frog takes up the mantle after Cyrus is killed.
  • Fenrich of Disgaea 4 is fiercely protective of Valvatorez, to the point that he sometimes goes overboard.
  • The Dragon Age games enjoy this trope, which is perhaps to be expected in a Low Fantasy setting.
    • In the original Dragon Age: Origins, the Warden and his/her companions are declared champions of Redcliffe after they save the life of Arl Eamon Guerrin.
      • "Champion" is an unlockable specialization for warriors.
      • Also, at the Landsmeet, the Warden may appoint a companion to act as his/her champion in the duel with Loghain.
    • Hawke in Dragon Age II is this towards their sister Bethany. When Ser Wesley realises that Bethany is a mage, Hawke's immediate reaction is to step in front of their sister and give a Death Glare to the Templar that informs him they will have to go through them first.
      • Later in the game, Hawke is formally declared "Champion of Kirkwall," and protecting the city and its residents becomes his/her sworn duty. It's noted in supplemental material that "Champion" is a special title used only by the city-states in the Free Marches.
    • As in Origins, "Champion" is one of the possible specializations for a warrior Inquisitor in Dragon Age: Inquisition.
      • There is also a war table operation in which one of the higher-ranked Inquisition soldiers can be sent to act as the organization's champion in a tournament. Humorously, it's noted that the champion is encouraged to place well, but not win (for political reasons).
  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim gives you Housecarls after you become a Thane in a city. Each Jarl also has one. Each Housecarl carries the hero's burdens, lives with them, and will defend their charge until death. (And sometimes their deaths are doled out by the heroes they are protecting...) The Hearthfire DLC extends the housecarl's protection to also cover the Dragonborn's spouse and adopted children. During the Dawnguard questline, the Dragonborn makes themselves a Champion, defending Serana before Lord Harkon and the Dawnguard.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • The remake of Final Fantasy III makes one of the Warriors of Light, Ingus, this for Princess Sara. When the others meet him, he's looking for her because she's gone missing in the wake of the Djinn's curse, and promises to return to her side once The Quest is done.
    • In Final Fantasy XIII Fang is this for Vanille, up to and including turning Ragnarok on Cocoon.
    • In Final Fantasy VIII Squall and nemesis Seifer both profess this to their respective sorceresses. Squall proclaims that "if the world turns against you, I'll be your knight."
    • The Warrior of Light from Dissidia Final Fantasy tends to fight directly in the name of his Lady, Cosmos, and will sometimes battle other allies to prove their loyalty to her and keep her safe.
    • Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light has Yunita, of Princess Aire's personal guard. She puts Aire's safety above all else, even when Aire insults her. Which is a bit of a problem, as Yunita is also the Failure Knight, but they both get better.
  • Fire Emblem: Awakening:
    • Lucina seems to be Chrom's champion, putting him high on a pedestal and prioritizing his safety above all else.
    • Gerome considers himself Lucina's champion, describing himself as the blade to strike down any who would oppose her.
  • After going rogue in the first Kingdom Hearts, Riku has steadily become Sora's champion over the course of the series. In fact, if some of Mickey's Japanese lines in Kingdom Hearts III are any indication, it appears that the end goal of Riku's character arc is coming to realize who it is he wants to protect most. There already wasn't much doubt before III that said person is Sora, but Riku's sacrifice against the Demon Tide seems to solidify it once and for all.
  • Link is Princess Zelda's champion in several The Legend of Zelda entries, including the original game and A Link to the Past.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword makes Link's status as Zelda's champion a major plot point in Hylia's (re: Zelda's) Batman Gambit. However, while she is willing to exploit Link's loyalty to Zelda for the greater good, she deeply regrets treating her (or rather, Zelda's) childhood friend like a pawn in her plans, and says as much when they reunite in the past.
      Hylia/Zelda: I knew that if it meant saving Zelda, you would throw yourself headfirst into any danger, without even a moment's doubt... I... I used you.
    • Due to the different focus of the game, Link is Midna's champion in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. However he lends a pretty big hand to Zelda's predicaments as well.
    • Link serves as The Champion for two characters in The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. First his little sister, Aryll, and later the King of Hyrule, Daphnes Nohansen Hyrule. Incidentally Zelda herself doesn't call upon Link, since leaving aside her lineage, she's the Action Girl Tomboy pirate Tetra.
  • In Mass Effect 3 Javik explicitly calls Commander Shepard, the Avatar of Victory in this cycle.
    • Paragon Shepard can serve as the Champion towards the Rachni, the Geth and the Krogan throughout the series. Those races have bad rep across the galaxy, but Shepard frequently defending their right to have a second chance and prove they can live in peace with the rest of the galaxy. Even if it means to argue against the mainstream notions about these races and even if it means to enter a warzone to fight on their behalf. And if those races are given that chance, they make it clear that they owe their continued existence to Shepard.
    • In the Extended Cut end of the game, the Control Ending indicates that the new AI God Shepard has chosen to be this for the entire galaxy and everyone in it.
  • In the Mega Man Zero series, Zero is the lone defender of all oppressed Reploids; the Resistance that he became a member of are mostly made up of civilians. He also fully supports Rebel Leader Ciel's attempts to bring an end to the war through more peaceful means. By the end of the series, the remnants of humanity start to see him as one as well, since he's their last chance against the tyrannical Dr. Weil.
  • Mortal Kombat:
    • For the longest time in Mortal Kombat lore Liu Kang served as the champion for Raiden (and thus Earthrealm at large as well). He won the decisive Mortal Kombat tournament that prevented Outworld from laying claim to Earthrealm and opposed several other attempts at conquering Earthrealm through other means. However due to the events of Mortal Kombat 9, he and Raiden have had a rather substantial falling out, mostly since he views Raiden as an incompetent protector who got everyone he cared for killed. By the time of Mortal Kombat X, he seems to stand for whatever side will put him opposite to Raiden. Apparently Johnny Cage has risen to take this role in the new timeline.
    • On the villainous side, Goro primarily serves as this for Outworld emperor Shao Kahn.
  • Lucifer seeks to mold the Demi-Fiend into demonkind's Champion in Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne, by throwing him into the battle for the Candelabra against the Ten Embodiments of Death. Should he be victorious, he still has to confront his Dragon Beelzebub and God's mightiest angel.
  • In Shin Megami Tensei IV's Neutral Path, you must become the champion of Tokyo as its Hope Bringer by helping the locals out, bolstering their spirits and proving the city is not beyond salvation in order to reform the Great Spirit of Hope. You are even named as such by the Hunters' Associations.
  • Companions in Star Wars: The Old Republic are this to the player characters by game mechanics, but some are so in the story as well:
    • Khem Val is initially a somewhat unwilling champion to the Sith Inquisitor, and when Lord Zash reveals her true intentions he can fulfill the role quite dutifully.
    • Jaesa Wilsaam and Malavai Quinn to the Sith Warrior.
    • The Jedi Consular ends up being this for not just their companions, particularly Qyzen Fess (who believes the Consular an avatar of his goddess) and Nadia Grell, but to a minor house of Alderaanian nobility (representing them at a peace conference), a potential Voss Mystic as he undergoes his trial, and the entire Rift Alliance (a coalition of neutral worlds who were on the fence about siding with the Republic until the Consular showed up).
In World of Warcraft, Sylvanas Windrunner, former Ranger-General of Quel'thalas, vouched for the human Nathanos Marris to be the first human to join the all elven Rangers. The two were always close. When both became undead, Sylvanas sought out Nathanos and restored his mind so he may be at her side once more. Now Nathanos Blightcaller is officially known as the Champion of the Banshee Queen and does everything in his power to serve his Dark Lady.

    Visual Novels 
  • In the Heaven's Feel path of Fate/stay night, the protagonist Shirou Emiya drops his ideals to protect Sakura first and foremost. This does not end well, as the entire point of the game (well, the other point of the game) is the Character Development that Shirou undergoes as he tries to reconcile his ideals with reality. Discarding those ideals entirely sends other aspects of Shirou, like his sanity, off the rails very quickly.
  • You can play Hisao as this in any route of Katawa Shoujo. It never ends well, though.
  • Should you choose, you can have the player character of Mystic Messenger act as this for whatever route she's in. No matter what the player you're romancing is putting her through, no matter what state she's in, even if she's trapped in a cult's headquarters, has a gun to her head, or stuck in an apartment with a live bomb, she'll stay devoted to whoever you're pursuing, constantly putting their safety and happiness before hers and offering boundless encouragement and support.

    Western Animation 
  • In Miraculous Ladybug, the primary ability of the Butterfly Miraculous is to create heroic champions to fight alongside the wielder via Super-Empowering. At least, it's supposed to be. In the hands of Hawk Moth, the Miraculous creates villainous pawns.
  • In ThunderCats (2011) Cheetara, the Sole Survivor of his Praetorian Guard, is this for her young King Lion-O. Since she's not much older than him, she defends him both for ill and for good. She accepts his more brash battle tactics unquestioningly, but proves correct when she chides his other followers for their lack of support and encouragement of his potential.
  • The Champion was the name of a hero in an unsold pilot by Leonardo-TTV (makers of Underdog). He was Cauliflower Cabbie, a taxi driver who became the Champion when there was trouble. His hack would be transferred into a supercar.