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Because of the holiday, there is an inherent sort of romanticism associated with the name "Valentine" .
Writers will utilize this association to hint at the character's heroic roots. The Knight in Shining Armor named Valentine will do anything to win fair lady's hand, while an Anti-Hero or The Stoic may have the name in order to hint at his Hidden Heart of Gold. A girl with a Sugar and Ice Personality named Valentine will often become a Defrosting Ice Queen.
A Villain with the name "Valentine" is often a deliberate subversion on the audience's subconscious expectations, though they do often keep some level of tragic romanticism. They will often be a Well-Intentioned Extremist, or perhaps a Noble Demon or Worthy Opponent. Female villains may be The Vamp.
May or may not apply to slight variations (Valentino, Valentin, etc.) depending on their characterizaton.
Anime and Manga
- Faye Valentine from Cowboy Bebop.
- Mai Valentine from Yu-Gi-Oh. Her last name is Kujaku (peafowl) in the original, though.
- U.S. President (and Big Bad) Funny Valentine in Jo Jos Bizarre Adventure: Steel Ball Run.
- The grandfather in Spy Kids (played by Ricardo Montalban) is named Valentin Avellan.
- Kevin Bacon played Valentine "Val" Mckee in Tremors.
- Valentine from Mirror Mask isn't romanticized, but he does fit the "anti-hero with a heart of gold" type.
- Gangster Eddie Valentine from The Rocketeer. Technically a bad guy, but throws his hat in with the heroes once he learns his employer is a two-bit Nazi.
- Valentin Zukovsky is an ally of James Bond who isn't quite evil but not entirely good either.
- Billy Ray Valentine in Trading Places
- Valentine Wolfe, who never met a drug he didn't like, from Deathstalker.
- Robert Heinlein's Stranger in A Strange Land has Valentine Michael Smith.
- Valentine Wiggin from Ender's Game. Valentine is the sweet, empathetic-to-a-fault middle child. This stands in contrast with her brothers psychopath-but-he-grew-up-okay Peter "The Rock (Upon Whom I Found My Church)," Fisher Of Men, and the youngest practically-inhuman-empathy-and-perfect-warrior 'Ender,' properly Andrew, "brother of Peter", "he-who-insisted-on-being-crucified-on-an-X". You see, their father--the very-Catholic John Paul Wiggin--gave them significant saints' names and secret baptisms, because Ender's Game was written at a time when Card seriously believed that Da Gubbamint might outlaw the practice of religion and succeed under the pretense of population control. This interacts annoyingly with The Great Politics Mess-Up, for reasons that have nothing to do with this trope.
- The heroine of the very first of PG Wodehouse's "Blandings Castle" novels, Something Fresh (1915), was named Joan Valentine.
- The real name of reformed safe-cracker Ralph Spencer in O. Henry's "A Retrieved Reformation" is Jimmy Valentine. (The story was filmed twice, in 1915 and in 1928, as Alias Jimmy Valentine.)
- In G. K. Chesterton's "Father Brown" stories "The Blue Cross" and "The Secret Garden," Aristide Valentin [sic] is the Head of the Parisian police. He is also the murderer in the latter.
- The main character of Robert Silverberg's Lord Valentine's Castle, and some but not all of the following books in the Majipoor series.
- Mortal Engines has Thaddeus and his daughter Katherine.
- Valentine de Villefort, the Proper Lady-like daughter of the Count's enemies in The Count of Monte Cristo
- And her counterpart in the anime series Gankutsuou, based on The Count of Monte Cristo.
- Valentine, one of the Two Gentlemen of Verona from the play of the same name by Shakespeare
- Valentinian in Belisarius Series. He does not have a particularly romantic outlook on life.
- Valentine Morgenstern in Cassandra Clare's Mortal Instruments series is not a nice person.
Live Action TV
- Becca Valentine from Andromeda.
- Sonya Valentine from Continuum.
- Emily Valentine from Beverly Hills, 90210
- Cat Valentine from Victorious.
- Emma Valentine from The Wild Wild West episode "The Night of the Vicious Valentine". She's a villain who pretends to be a matchmaker to steal the inheritances of wealthy men. And she wears heart-themed clothing.
- "The Two Sides of Monsieur Valentine", by Spoon. The song is quite cryptic (and good!), but Monsieur Valentine is mentioned to have a "black heart machine".
- Greg "The Hammer" Valentine, son of Johnny Valentine.
- Jill Valentine in the first, third, and fifth Resident Evil games.
- Vincent Valentine from Final Fantasy VII
- Isabella (Ivy) Valentine, from the Soul Series series.
- The family of vampires from Shadow Hearts.
- Mr. Valentine, the Big Bad arch-criminal from Guilty Party. Fully in-line with the trope, "he" does indeed have a Hidden Heart of Gold.
- Queen Valentina from Super Mario RPG.
- Once famous as the greatest lover in film, Rudolf Valentino.
- The original Saint Valentine.
- ↑ The name actually derives from the Latin word for strength and capability: valens
- ↑ born Jan Paweł Wieczorek in Poland, and named after a famous 20th-century Pope both in-universe and out