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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.

Basically The Champion is the character who is The Hero to one specific person. This character is not by default a Knight in Shining Armor 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 he/she is that bullied kid is playing The Champion.

May result due to a case of I Owe You My Life. If The Champion fails at his task, he will likely become a Failure Knight. Very often a Love Interest. Compare Bodyguard Crush. Will by definition have Undying Loyalty. Almost certainly a Satellite Character. A Hero to His Hometown is a champion to a larger group.

Examples of The Champion include:

Anime and Manga

  • Knights for Britannian royal family members of Code Geass generally tend to take on these roles, such as Suzaku and especially Guildford. 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.
  • 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.
  • Hungary is champion to Austria in Axis Powers Hetalia, albeit she's willing to let him get molested a little first before she steps in to protect him.
  • Tenma may be a hero to many, but he is a definite champion to Nina and Deiter above all.
  • Kira becomes this for Lacus midseries in Gundam Seed. After that point, he doesn't fight for ZAFT or the Earth Alliance, but for the Clyne Faction.
    • Alternate 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.
  • Akemi Homura for Kaname Madoka, in Puella Magi Madoka Magica. It then takes a religious bent after Madoka becomes a goddess in the final episode.
  • First Knight Ran Kurono is this towards Sei Ohtori in Hana no Kishi.
  • Issei Hyodou is this for Rias Gremory in High School DxD.

Comic Books


  • 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.
  • Taken to Tear Jerker levels in the backstory and duration of the movie 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.
  • When Anakin professes his love for Padme in Attack of the Clones he says that he will do anything she asks.
  • In the made-for-television movie Merlin, 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 Guinivere's personal champion in his absence. Lancelot wins, thus paving the way to the most famous Love Triangle in history.


  • "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 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 some Arthurian legends, Lancelot takes on this role to Guinevere, despite also being a garden variety Knight in Shining Armor.
  • Gimli tokenly champions Galadriel in Lord of the Rings, mainly in upholding her name and honour rather than taking on any protector role.
    • Sam Gamgee is closer to being this for Frodo.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Live Action TV

  • In Firefly Simon is River's champion.
  • 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.
  • Lennier to Delenn in Babylon 5 is pretty much made of this trope.
    • To a lesser degree, 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.
  • In Gilmore Girls, Luke is 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 and another time she needed a replacement cook for her inn and at the end of the day she called him her white knight.
  • In the Wonder Woman TV Series this is invoked by Queen Hippolyte: the Amazon winner of a tournament will escort Steve Trevor to his country. Subverted because his is less for his safety that to preserve the Lady Land in Paradise Island.

Queen Hippolyte: 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 Hippolyte: 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 man’s world.

Video Games

  • Skyrim gives you Housecarls after you become a Thane in a city. Each Jarl also has one. Each Housecarl carries the heroes burdens, lives with them, and will defend thier charge until death.
  • Drakath from Adventure Quest Worlds is The Champion of Chaos
  • In Beyond Good and 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 aforemetioned I Owe You My Life scenarios.
  • 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 sorcerers.
  • The Warrior of Light 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.
  • In the Heaven's Feel path of Fate Stay Night, the protagonist Emiya Shirou drops his ideals to protect Sakura first and foremost.
  • 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.
  • Arguably, Link is Princess Zelda's champion in several games in the Zelda series, including the original game and The Legend of Zelda a Link To T He Past.
  • You can play Hisao as this in any route of Katawa Shoujo. It never ends well, though.
  • Fenrich of Disgaea 4: A Promise Unforgotten is fiercely protective of Valvatorez, to the point that he sometimes goes overboard.
  • In Mass Effect 3 Javik explicitly calls Commander Shepard, the Avatar of Victory in this cycle.
  • Hawke in Dragon Age II towards their sister Bethany. When Ser Wesley realises that Bethany is a mage, Hawke's immediately 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.

Web Comic

Western Animation

  • 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.