Black knight

Black knight

A black knight is a soldier or knight who either is not bound to a specific liege or does not want his liege, or himself, to be identified and so does not bear any heraldic standards or has blackened them out.

Since heraldic standards were carefully regulated by one official body or other (such as the British College of Arms), a fighting man who had not obtained a standard (through inheritance or endowment by a liege) would have no colors or devices to represent him. These would-be knights were often freelance soldiers. Because they usually lacked a squire or page to care for their armor, they would paint it black to prevent rust. An experienced and equipped soldier without a specific fealty was a wild card and an organized force of them could be an absoloute trouble for kings. This sort of dispossessed status ran contrary to the entire system of feudalism and this condition was looked upon with disfavor. This disfavoring viewpoint is a contributing factor towards the pejorative usage of the term.

The more commonly used, and negative reference, is that of a soldier or knight who has purposefully hidden their standards. Knights involved in risky political intrigues or activities unbecoming of a man of station would blacken their shields so as to not be easily identified.

In fiction

*Sir Walter Scott has Richard the Lionhearted posing as a black knight to avoid detection while in England in his novel Ivanhoe
*The last quality of the Black Knights, survived in later pop culture, fairytales and fantasy stories, where Black Knights are solitary knights, master fighters but usually evil. They sometimes appear to have supernatural powers like the ability to survive grievous wounds or a tendency to be bound (willingly or unwillingly) to powerful wizards who render them invincible guardians of some fabled treasure or perhaps the wizard's lair.
*This stock character appears for example in "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" and "Conquests of Camelot".
*In the video game, ' the Black Knight is a foe of Ike, the main character. He appears again in the sequel, ', as both an enemy and a playable character.
*In the Marvel Comics universe, several superheroes have gone by the name Black Knight.
*In the video game ,The Black Knight is one of the Monsters that has been resurrected as a boss. He is the Boss of Market Town.
*In Final Fantasy the black knight aspect has been used in several occasions. Garland in the beginning games was a black knight. And also the job named Dark Knight was added in many games, also referring to black knight.
*In the video game Sonic and the Black Knight, King Arthur has been corrupted into ruling the realm as the Black Knight, and this prompts the sorceress Merlina to summon Sonic to deal with the problem.

ee also


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