Joan of Arc (French: Jeanne d'Arc, January 6, 1412 May 30, 1431) was a peasant girl who rose from obscurity to lead the French army to several victories during The Hundred Years War, resulting in the coronation of Charles VII as King of France — she did not personally kill anyone, but carried a battle standard and led the army, as well as making tactical decisions. She was born about 1412, and from the age of twelve claimed to see visions of and hear the voices of Saints Catherine, Michael, and Margaret (one of the less understood aspects of her life — either she was lying, or she was mentally ill in some way, or had Meniere's syndrome (which affects the inner ear) or God really was telling her to drive out the English: the reader can draw their own conclusions without stating them here), who she said told her to drive out the English and bring Charles VII to Rheims, then under English control, for his coronation.
After gaining the approval of Charles and a theological commission, working with the knight Gilles de Rais, she arrived at the siege of Orleans in 1429, where at only 17 years of age she led the French to victory; contemporaries acknowledged her as the heroine of the engagement after she was wounded in the neck by an arrow but returned to lead the final charge. She led the French to several other victories, including at Reims, and was present at Charles VII's coronation. In October, Joan took Saint-Pierre-le-Moûtier and was granted nobility.
However, a risky skirmish on May 23, 1430 led to her capture. Contrary to popular belief, the Duke of Burgundy, who actually held much of France under English control, was not interested in selling her for ransom. She attempted several escapes, but all failed. The Duke of Burgundy eventually sold her to the English, who wanted their king, Henry VI, to be recognized as the legitimate ruler of France; therefore Joan's victories had put a major crimp in their plans. Formal religion was still very strong during this time, and painting Joan as a heretic helped to cast aspersions on Charles VII's claim to the crown. Perhaps unsurprisingly, she was tried and convicted of heresy before a pro-English court, and forced to sign a renunciation of heresy she did not understand because she was illiterate. Heresy was a capital crime only for a repeat offense; she promised not to wear male clothing, which was considered heretical, but resumed it either as a defense against rape or, in the testimony of Jean Massieu, because her dress had been stolen and she was left with nothing else to wear.
In any case, the church court rejected her supporters' explanations and abandoned her to the English. She was burned at the stake in 1431. In 1456 her conviction was posthumously reversed, and in 1920 she was declared a Catholic saint.
Her fame also made writers base characters on her, thus the Jeanne d'Archétype.
For further information, see the book Joan of Arc: The Warrior Saint, by Stephen W. Richey. For a famous fictional portrayal, there is George Bernard Shaw's play Saint Joan, which fictionalises large amounts of the story and actually seems to make an attempt to redeem her accusers. Mark Twain's impassioned Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc is considered one of the best things he ever wrote. See also Carl Th. Dreyer's famous and critically lauded The Passion of Joan of Arc, which recreates her final days and is a seminal piece of early cinema in its own right.
Tropes as portrayed in media:
- Barefoot Poverty: Sometimes depicted as such in paintings, even ones taking place during her war career, to reflect her humble upbringing.
- Battle Ballgown: Portrayed with this in some illustrations, though there's no proof she wore one. note
- Beethoven Was an Alien Spy:
- The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel reveal that Joan was actually rescued from her burning by Scathach the Shadow and is alive and well in Paris, now over 500 years old. This is a Retcon from a previous book that implied she did die.
- And some Buffy the Vampire Slayer comics imply she was the Slayer.
- Also Puella Magi Madoka Magica states that she was one of many Magical Girls, alongside women like Queen Cleopatra, Queen Himiko (maybe) and Anneliese "Anne" Frank. Joan would later get her own series.
- In the Nasuverse, there are hints that Joan (spelled Jeanne) was being influenced by the Counter Force, and that she made a deal with Alaya to become a Counter Guardian after she died. Even if she didn't, she likely would have ascended to the Throne of Heroes anyway. She becomes one of the 2 protagonists of Fate/Apocrypha and plays a prominent role in Fate/Grand Order.
- Hetalia: Axis Powers plays her mostly straight when France tells a young woman named Lissa in the modern day about her, but it's implied that Lissa is actually Joan reincarnated.
- Jeanne d'Arc casts her as a Magical Girl of sorts who fights against the English... and their demonic allies. In this version, it is not her but her best friend Liane, acting as a Body Double, who is burnt at the stake; Joan herself arrives too late to rescue her and has an Heroic BSoD at the horrible sight.
- In The Secret World, your Templar handler, Richard Sonnac, reveals that Joan of Arc was an early member of the Templar faction. He claims that her revealing her faction affiliation (and presumably, her powers) to the world was what resulted in her getting burned at the stake. That being said, he strongly advises (read: demands) that you keep your own faction membership and Bee-imbued powers a secret from the public, lest you meet the same fiery fate.
- In Continuum, Joan of Arc was/is a spanner, and makes up a substantial portion of the police force of Atlantis.
- In Strike Witches: The Movie, one of pictures showcasing Witches across history depicts Joan as being a Witch, depicting her with glowing Mercury's Wings and tail feathers.
- In Witchblade, she was one of the many holders of the titular sentient weapon.
- In Miraculous Ladybug, she was one of the many holders of the Ladybug Miraculous.
- In the Alternate Universe Code Geass manga Nightmare of Nunnally, it's implied that C.C is Joan of Arc, is still alive and wreaking chaos as the Eternal Witch.
- The Dresden Files, Word of God has it that she was a previous Knight of the Cross. While she doesn't actually appear in
- Boyish Short Hair: While many paintings depict her with long flowing hair, she claimed the voices commanded her to cut her hair as well. Her trial transcript describes her as wearing her hair cut above her ears, "en-round like a young coxcomb."
- Emissary from the Divine: The legend is that Jeanne believed she had a Mission from God, which she fulfilled. She represented divine interests during the war.
- Germans Love David Hasselhoff: Japanese popular art has rather fallen in love with Jeanne, especially in the post-Cold War era. While part of this is just Japanese pop culture's love of cute girls, it also helps that Jeanne can be easily compared to several prominent women warriors in Japanese history.
- Hearing Voices: Part of what makes her story so fun; her Call to Adventure was the recorded apparition of three saints sending her to lead the French to victory.
- Historical Badass Upgrade: Fictional examples not only portray her as an Action Girl who is at the lead of her army during a charge, but often even portray her as a Master Swordswoman of immense physical strength enough to match a knight's physical conditioning and often being singlehandedly responsible for changing the tides of the Hundred Years War towards France's eventual victory. Some fictional works even portray her as having magical powers. While nonetheless her real life counterpart had very impressive achievements, she is far from the Knight in Shining Armor propaganda and fictional works portray her as in real life. By her own words, she had never killed anyone and didn't directly command, though the noblemen that did attested to taking her advisement due to believing she was divinely inspired. (At least one modern film shows that her expertise on the English comes from simply having observed them her whole life.) She was also not the only woman to serve in the French army — many widows joined up after their husbands were killed — and not even the only woman to lead an army. But she was by far the youngest to do all those things.
- Historical Beauty Upgrade: From the historical records that saw her in person, she was described as reasonably good-looking but somewhat masculine with a short and sturdy build and short hair. (Her fellow commander Jean d'Alencon later testified that he'd happened to see her changing clothes and she had "beautiful breasts".) Most artistic depictions of her often show her as extremely feminine and beautiful to highlight her angelic nature. Its also not uncommon for her to be portrayed as a blonde or redhead instead of a brunette.
- Historical Hero Upgrade: Retellings of her story tend to leave out less than savory behavior by modern standards that Joan accepted or abided by, including threatening enemy garrisons with massacre if they didn't surrender, though this was generally standard procedure for sieges at the time. For instance, the siege of Jargeau (one of her first battles) ended with most of the English force killed instead of taken prisoner, except for the nobles who were taken for ransom (though the English had in this case opened negotiations which were halted by Joan's superior the Duke of Alençon). The Luc Besson film The Messenger portrays her as aghast at seeing the aftermath of such a siege, realizing what she has helped bring about (and also having a vision of a bloody Christ upbraiding her). It is also rare to see modern depictions of her chasing out her soldiers' Camp Followers i.e. prostitutes on grounds of being sinful women who led the men to sin. This is because more pragmatic modern views are invariably sympathetic towards those "working girls" who do what they can to get by.
- Historical Villain Upgrade: In Henry VI Part 1, where her voices are made more demonic in nature, her virginity is hinted to be a lie, and even some of the French distrust her. To be expected of a Theme Park Version of the English perspective of the Hundred Years' War. Years later, another British dramatist, George Bernard Shaw, wrote Saint Joan which went a long way to rub away centuries of anti-Joan English propaganda.
- Jeanne d'Archétype: Trope Maker, Trope Codifier and Trope Namer.
- Knight in Shining Armor: Joan is sort of a female example. She is usually portrayed in full plate armor when not in a Battle Ballgown. She more likely wore leather armor like most soldiers when she was actually in battle. She also had a chain mail overshirt, a long tabard and (rarely depicted) a big hat.
- Lady of War: One of the common depictions of her, though there's no proof of it.
- Mission from God: God called her to lead France to victory against England.
- Only One Name: Her signature was just her personal name and there is no record of her using "d'Arc" herself. Surnames were also not universally used at the time, and it was the local custom in her region for girls to use their mothers' surname (as she said herself at her trial). Her mother was known both as Isabelle Romée and Isabelle de Vouthon, while "d'Arc" comes from her father Jacques. She did however refer to herself as "La Pucelle" ("The Maiden").
- Shrouded in Myth: Even before she died, her name had become legend. And in the centuries that followed, she would come to become associated with various ideologies and causes, in time becoming intertwined with the French nation, thanks in part to her mother's endless campaigning and promotional activities.
- Spell My Name with an "S":
- The modern French spelling of her name is Jeanne, and is pronounced like "Jah-ne"; "Joan" is an Anglicization. Works in the modern era, especially ones not originating in English, have tended to preserve the French spelling and pronunciation out of respect, though some still go for Joan. Her name was the one word she could write, and she spelled it "Jehanne".
- "d'Arc" is a later approximation of her father's surname, spelled "Darc" in contemporary records and assumed to be short for "de Arc" (of Arc), as contractions and apostrophes weren't used in surnames at the time. Thus she did not come from a place called "Arc", but rather from Domrémy. Even "Darc" itself is uncertain, as other records spell her father's surname in various other ways like "Darx", "Dart", "Tarc" or "Tart".
- Take a Third Option: During her trial, she was asked point-blank "Do you know whether or not you are in God's grace?" Answering "Yes" would confirm a charge of heresy, as she would be tacitly claiming to know the mind of God, while saying "No" would allow the prosecutor to proclaim that she must know that she is sinful. Her reply was later used in her canonization as a Saint.
Joan: If I am not, may God put me there; and if I am, may God so keep me. I should be the saddest creature in the world if I knew I were not in His grace
- Thou Shalt Not Kill: She refused to break this commandment, and typically acted as the standard bearer. Since the standard bearer is the most visible and most tempting target a given army can have, it's entirely possible this was a Wounded Gazelle Warcry to motivate her forces.
Joan of Arc appears in the following works:
- In Code Geass: Nightmare of Nunnally, Nemo tells Nunnally that C.C is either a clone of Joan of Arc or (most likely) Joan herself. Either way, she survived being burned at the stake due to her Complete Immortality.
- Drifters has Joan as a pyromaniac Dark Action Girl and one of the villainous Ends, who serve a Black King out to exterminate humanity since he and his groups are people who once loved humans, but were betrayed and murdered by them. The Black King is all but stated to be Jesus, an appropriate lord for her..
- In Gasaraki, Joan is the third of Miharu's past incarnations. She claimed to her king that she "received visions from the heavens" to serve her kingdom and successfully summoned her Kokai to fought enemies, but due to her conscience ordering to stop slaughtering lives, she ended up caught by the enemy country and was put to death by being burned at the stake. This also marks Phantom's first encounter with a Kai. (In this case, Miharu.)
- In Phantom Thief Jeanne, Joan's reincarnation Maron Kusakabe is a Magical Girl on a Mission from God to seal demons hiding in works of art, which possess and corrupt pure-hearted people who admire their beauty. At some point, Maron travels through time and actually meets Joan herself. Not to mention, the villain Noin Claude was in love with Jeanne (and later with Maron).
- Nobunaga the Fool: The main heroine is Jeanne Kaguya d'Arc, whose other name when she's disguised as a Bifauxnen is Ranmaru Mori, the real life Nobunaga's companion.
- Puella Magi Madoka Magica:
- In the original, Joan appears in a flashback that shows her as a Magical Girl, holding on her Soul Gem as she's about to be burned at the stake. It's fair to assume that Madoka used her wish to spirit her and many other magical girls to another plane of existence, sparing her from being burned to death.
- Puella Magi Tart Magica details the life of Joan (the titular Tart) as a Magical Girl.
- In Rage of Bahamut: Genesis, Joan is the leader of the Orleans Knights and is armed with the legendary spear Maltet, which she uses to kick a lot of ass. Unfortunately, she's still burned at the stake despite the crowds trying to rescue her, and as she crosses the Despair Event Horizon at the sight of the peasants' suffer, the demon Martinet (Gilles de Rais) takes advantage of it and corrupts her, which leads to her FaceHeel Turn.
- The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928), concentrating solely on Joan's trial, suffering, and death, is one of the most famous films of the silent era.
- Joan of Arc is a 1900 film by Georges Méliès that may be the first Biopic ever.
- The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc is a 1999 film by Luc Besson starring Milla Jovovich that is a deconstruction of the Joan legend. Very Loosely Based on a True Story.
- Das Mädchen Johanna (literally, "That girl Joan"), a 1935 propaganda film by Nazi Germany, with the Austrian actress Angela Salloker as Joan. According to The Other Wiki it includes "heavily underlined" political parallels between the June 30 purge and that of Trémoille, and between the Reichstag fire and the execution of Joan in Rouen.
- Jeanne captive (2011) is about her capture and trial. Played by Clémence Poésy.
- In House of Wax, Carolyn Jones plays one of the victims of Professor Henry Jarrod. She ends up turned into a wax statue of Joan recreating her execution.
- The Phantom of the Opera (1962) features a Show Within a Show opera called Saint Joan, about the life of Joan of Arc, written by the Phantom In-Universe.
- Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure: Joan appears as one of the historical figures. Amongst other things she manages to take over an aerobics class at the San Dimas Mall.
- The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel: Jeanne d'Arc is an immortal.
- Joan shows up in Reefer Madness: The Musical to introduce Jesus and start the musical number, "Listen to Jesus, Jimmy!"
- Bad Dreams: There's a flashback depicting the immortal villain's encounter with Joan.
- InDove Keeper: One of the main characters, Jehanne, discovers she's Joan of Arc and that one of her former war companions, Gilles de Rais, used blood sacrifice to resurrect her.
- The Dresden Files: Joan is never actually mentioned in the series, but Word of God claims that she had previously wielded either Amorrachius or Esperacchius in battle as a Knight of the Cross.
- Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc, by the Sieur Louis de Conte is an 1896 novel by Mark Twain. A textbook example of Genre Adultery, it was originally published anonymously so that people wouldn't see Twain's name and expect it to be funny. Twain's wife Olivia regarded it as his best novel.
- The World of Ice & Fire: Jeyne Poore is Westeros' equivalent to Joan of Arc, being one of the Faith Militant's rebel leaders during the uprising against Maegor the Cruel, and who was betrayed by her enemies and burned at the stake as an witch.
- Crusade: The episode Ruling from the Tomb features a male character who hears voices that he believes are those of Jeanne d'Arc. Said character happens to be part of a doomsday cult attempting to prevent efforts to defeat a plague, however, and was very likely mentally ill.
- Deadliest Warrior dedicates a whole episode pitting her and her French army against the forces of William the Conqueror. In the end, Joan wins thanks to her stronger armor and better weapons. The videogame somewhat infamously gives her metallic high heels and a... form-fitting... breastplate.
- History Bites presents Joan of Arc as "The Celibate Celebrity of 1429." It focuses primarily on her lifting the Siege of Orleans, with her ultimate fate being discussed in the epilogue.
- Joan Of Arc is a dramatization of Joan's story. She's portrayed by Leelee Sobieski, whose performance was nominated for an Emmy Award.
- Wishbone: One episode adapts the story. It claims to have adapted it via the Twain novel, not that it contains much that is specific to that version.
- In Witchblade, Joan is portrayed as a past wielder of the Witchblade, which was confiscated by the Catholic church at her execution.
- Henry VI Part 1, being a play written by an Englishman, depicts Joan as a scheming villainess.
- Operatic renditions include Verdi's Giovanna d'Arco, Tchaikovsky's Maid of Orleans and Gary Ruffin's 1970 rock opera The Survival of St. Joan.
- Saint Joan, written in response to her canonization, is often credited with re-popularizing her in England.
- Age of Empires:
- In Bladestorm The Hundred Years War, she is a major French-aligned NPC with a position roughly equivalent to Edward the Black Prince (who died decades before Joan's rise to fame) on the English side.
- Cygames frequently uses Joan in its works. For example, she's a playable unit in Shadowverse and Granblue Fantasy and a summonable dragon in Dragalia Lost, and each time she's voiced by Megumi Han.
- Dragon Age: In a similar way to the A Song of Ice and Fire example above, Andraste of the Chantry is basically a combination of Joan of Arc, Jesus Christ, and the Prophet Muhammad.
- Fate Series: While she makes no appearance and has no mention in the original visual novel, Jeanne takes a prominent position in the wider Nasuverse, particularly later media.
- Her resemblance to King Arthur (it's, uh... complicated) is a major plot point in Fate/Zeronote , and Gilles' vision of her at his death in Zero was her first appearance in the Nasuverse.
- She is the main protagonist of Fate/Apocrypha as a Ruler Servant and is one of the playable Servants in Fate/Extella: The Umbral Star and Fate/Grand Order. She receives visions from time to time and her main Noble Phantasm is Luminosité Eternelle: God is Here With Me, the flag she carried in battle, which can create a defensive barrier of holy light based on her faith. She also has La Pucelle: The Crimson Saint, which imbues her sword with the flames from when she was burned at the stake, but using it will kill her.
- In Grand Order, Gilles de Rais creates a copy of her as an Avenger Servant called Jeanne Alter, nicknamed Jalter, who has dark magical powers and is filled with a seething hatred for being burned at the stake, unlike the real Jeanne who holds no grudge. One of her first actions on screen is to capture Pierre Cauchon, the bishop who had Jeanne executed, and incinerate him. As the Dragon Witch, she has command over an army of dragons and her Noble Phantasm is La Grondement Du Haine: Roar, O' Rage of Mine, which allows her to summon burning stakes similar to the one she was killed on to impale her enemies. She has a Tomato in the Mirror moment when she realizes Gilles created her and she is not actually Jeanne, but the original Jeanne regards her as a sister.
- In Grand Order, Jeanne D'Arc Alter Santa Lily is a Lancer child version of Jalter. Since there is no record of her in history and she has no connection to the original Jeanne's legend, she is at risk of disappearing in a Puff of Logic. The heroes save her by bringing her to the ocean, as the original Jeanne had a dream of seeing the ocean before she died which went unfulfilled in her original life. Her seeing the ocean gives her a connection to the original Jeanne and allows her to exist. She has a Christmas theme and her Noble Phantasm is La Grâce Fille Noël: Sing Elegantly, About Said Holy Birth, which bombards her enemies with presents while strenghtening her and her allies.
- In Grand Order, Jalter can become a Berserker who wears a swimsuit, wields katanas, and is obsessed with drawing manga and being cooler than the original Jeanne. Her Noble Phantasm is Völkermord Feuerdrache: Incinerated Heaven's Law - Dragon of Extermination, which allows her to form black flames into a dragon.
- In Grand Order, the original Jeanne can become an Archer who wears a swimsuit and has a dolphin trainer gimmick, based on both her dream of seeing the ocean and because Jeanne came to the aid of the Dauphin or crown prince of France, which led to his becoming King. "Dauphin" is French for "heir apparent", but it also means "dolphin". In this form, she reveals that she is lonely because none of her siblings are remembered by history and did not become Heroic Spirits, which is why she latches onto Jalter and Santa Lily as siblings. Her Noble Phantasm is Des Océans d'Allégresse: O Fruitful Ocean, with Great Happiness, which allows her to convert the battlefield to the ocean and summon whales and dolphins to attack the opponent.
- Jeanne d'Arc, Joan is the protagonist of this strategy-RPG that fuses the Hundred Years War with a Final Fantasy Tactics-esque storyline about demons and transformation bracelets.
- Perfect Dark: The protagonist is named Joanna Dark, in reference to Joan of Arc.
- In the second Rock of Ages game, Joan is one of your opponents. Her intro cutscene depicts her as a Cloud Cuckoo Lander who believes that God appearing before her is a sign to show him her battle plans, when in fact, all God wants to do is find Atlas.
- Clone High: Joan's clone is one of the main characters, depicted as an angsty goth girl as a result of failing to live up to the Jeanne d'Archétype. She's desperately in love with her best friend Abe, and can't seem to ever make him realize said infatuation.
- Family Guy: A Cutaway Gag portrays Joan as a girl trying way too hard to be One of the Boys. Everyone finds her insufferably annoying because she just will not shut up about how she "isn't like all the other girls". They burned her at the stake just to get rid of her.
- Il était une fois...: L'Homme ("Once upon a time... man"): Episode 13 is dedicated to The Hundred Years War and logically includes Joan. It shows her at first as a long-haired peasant girl who introduces herself to the nobles and the Dauphin, then as a short-haired Lady of War adored by the crowds, at the coronation of Charles VII... and at her execution.
- In Miraculous Ladybug, she is mentioned to have been a precursor to Marinette as the holder of the Ladybug Miraculous.
- Sexual Fables has a page on Joan's relationship with her voices telling the story from the saints' varying points of view.