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Two male characters portray different aspects of masculinity. The Noble Male is generally world-wise, gentlemanly, and sophisticated -- while the Roguish Male is generally reckless, wild, and prone towards fighting. The Noble one will generally focus on one special lady and treat her with the highest respect while the Roguish (often a Bastard Boyfriend) tends more toward sleeping around with many women or just be disinterested in sex or romance at all. Romance with the roguish, if he allows it, is likely to be destructive, deadly even, if he is any good with women at all. Basically, the Noble guy is what the single woman is seeking and the Roguish guy what most girls out there lust after.
Differs from Sensitive Guy and Manly Man in that the Noble Male is still very much considered "manly" -- but is so in a more chivalrous fashion, rather than in an aggressive fashion.
The Noble Male can be the Betty in a male Betty and Veronica love triangle, while the Roguish is the Veronica. Also related is Red Oni, Blue Oni, with the Noble Male being the Blue to the Roguish Male's Red. Female tomboy examples of this trope are likely to be Bifauxnen and Ladette. This is also the Spear Counterpart to Light Feminine and Dark Feminine, two feminine girls in different ways.
As with any two character trope, the two characters have to have some sort of relationship with each other, be it friends, family, love interests, or rivals for a love interest, so the two characters can be playing the traits directly off each other.
Interestingly, in modern Western culture, "feminine" usually implies Light Feminine -- while "manly" tends to imply Roguish Male. See Female Angel, Male Demon for more.
Anime and Manga
- Axis Powers Hetalia: Germany and Prussia, with Germany as Noble and Prussia as Roguish. Prussia may have these dynamics with India (Noble) as well, judging by Hetaween 2011.
- Austria and Prussia fit this dynamic. Austria is a terrible fighter who bows to others in greeting and can play classical music in greeting. Prussia is an arrogant warrior who insults and harasses others and doesn't know how to spell the name of the location he wants to conquer.
- England is a composite of both, being disapproving gentlemen sipping tea in one strip and a raging drunk swearing like the sailor he used to be in the next.
- Switzerland combines the two. On one hand, he's willing to help those in need and make sacrifices for his loved ones; on the other, he has terrible mood swings and casually shoots at people if they get close to his territory.
- Also, a popular Fanon rendition of Sweden (Noble) and Denmark (Roguish).
- Berserk: Guts is an ultra-manly and uncivilized Byronic Hero, and Griffith is a sophisticated and manipulative Cultured Badass. Guts is very much the Roguish in most things, including being disinterested in sex or romance (at least until he meets Casca). Griffith, on the other hand, shows what a Noble Male is capable of when he goes bad. And it is horrific.
- Then later, the calm and noble Serpico forms this contrast with Guts.
- The anime version of Code Breaker has Masaomi Heike and Toki Fujiwara. Masaomi enjoys tea and cakes out in public while Toki skips school and gropes a girl's chest.
- In Fruits Basket, Yuki is the polite, sweet Noble guy in stark contrast to rogue, Tsundere Kyo.
- Nanami's two familiars, Mizuki and Tomoe, from Kamisama Kiss qualify. Mizuki is almost always polite and respectful to other people, even though he is a bit naïve sometimes, a Genius Ditz and something of a shut-in. Tomoe's personality ranges from Jerkass to Jerk with a Heart of Gold, and his interests include booze and trips to the Red Light District.
- In Kyo Kara Maoh!, Conrad Weller (noble) is an upstanding knight, loyal to his king to the point of stupidity, actually of noble birth in both human and demon lands, and a chivalrous fighter. His best friend Jozak (roguish) is a cynical and worldly-wise spy and Combat Pragmatist who has no problem with the idea of manipulating their new, inexperienced king for his own good. Throughout the series, though, it's consistently shown that of the two, Jozak is the more emotionally healthy.
- Played with in Magic Knight Rayearth. Subverted with Ferio, who at first seems to be a rogue guy, but he really is a noble guy since he is Princess Emeraude's younger brother. Lafarga may seem rogue and imponent, but he really is the captain of the royal guard -- although in the second season his true down-to-earth temperament shows better.
- Oniisama e...: Takehiko Henmi (noble) and Takeshi Ichinomiya (roguish).
- Saiyuki: Sha Gojyo (roguish) and Cho Hakkai (noble). This being Saiyuki, however, Hakkai isn't entirely as noble as he seems.
- The Vision of Escaflowne: Allen is the Light Masculine, while Van is the Roguish Male. They are even color-coded.
- Yu-Gi-Oh!: Early on, Tristan/Honda (noble) and Joey/Jounouchi (roguish) had this dynamic, but as Joey went through Character Development, he started becoming a more heroic character... right about the same time Duke/Otohi became a recurring minor character and filled Roguish better than Joey ever had. It especially became clear in regards to their pursuit of Jou's sister, Serenity/Shizuka, with Dogged Nice Guy Tristan performing gesture after gesture of kindness and self-sacrifice towards her, while Handsome Lech Duke sweeps her off her feet with his charm.
- The Mighty Thor (noble) fighting for honor, justice and valor, and The Incredible Hercules (roguish) fighting evil because it's fun and to impress women, and he's more than willing to play dirty.
- Being the Cape and the Cowl posterboys, respectively, Superman (noble) and Batman (roguish).
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Tactical, calm and humble Leonardo (noble) contrasting the aggressive, rebellious and brash Raphael (roguish).
- Transformers: Optimus Prime is level-headed and strategic (noble), while Grimlock is more aggressive and ruthless (roguish).
- Usagi Yojimbo has Usagi (noble) and Gen (roguish).
- Two of the X-Men, Cyclops (noble) and Wolverine (roguish) in some depictions. As a classic scruffy Anti-Hero, Wolverine is the Roguish guy in comparison to most of the men he spends much time with (sometimes even bordering on Sensitive Guy and Manly Man).
- Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes in Ain't No Grave. Steve (noble) is a polite idealist and Bucky (roguish) a foul-mouthed Unscrupulous Hero. They are Vitriolic Best Buds. And more.
- In Infinite Gate of Hope, we have Naito and Shura. Naito (noble) is a calm, kind, Lawful Good mage; Shura (roguish) is a Hot-Blooded, rather mean, Chaotic Good fighter. They're both after the same girl, but Naito likes to be subtle and gentle about it, while Shura tends to be more open and bold in his affections.
Films -- Animated
- In Frozen, Anna's two love interests are Hans and Kristoff. Hans (noble) is a gentleman Prince Charming while Kristoff (roguish) is a loner, rough-around-the-edges, smelly mountain man.
- Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas: Two old friends -- the prince Proteus (noble), and the black-hearted thief, Sinbad (roguish).
Films -- Live-Action
- Deadpool: Colossus (noble) is a polite and chivalrous Cape, while Deadpool (roguish) is a Heroic Comedic Sociopath with a crude sense of humor.
- Picnic at Hanging Rock: Mike is the blonde, noble-born British young man, while Aussie is valet and friend Albert is dark, sooo manly and outspoken.
- Pirates of the Caribbean: Will Turner (noble) is polite, chivalrous and loyal, while Captain Jack Sparrow (roguish) is devious and has a severe case of Chronic Backstabbing Disorder. Throughout the first three films Will has eyes only for his childhood friend Elizabeth, while Jack is regularly slapped by former lovers.
- Star Wars trilogies:
- Belisarius and his bodyguard Valentinian in Belisarius Series.
- A Brother's Price:
- Jerin Whistler (noble) and Keifer Porter (roguish) as love interests of the princesses.
- The love interests for the Whistler sisters also fall into this category: uncaring and sexually promiscuous Balin Brindle (roguish) and Cullen Moorland who is sweet and gentle.
- The Whistler and Brindle families can also count in the way they differ: the Brindles (roguish) usually start fights at social gatherings, while the Whistlers (noble) end them, swiftly and without excessive violence. The Brindles are uncultivated country folk, while the Whistlers have manners fit for a royal court.
- In Chronicles of the Kencyrath, Jame goes to Tentir and meets and slowly befriends two guys. At first glance, friendly, fine-featured Timmon looks like the Noble guy, and surly, burly Gorbel looks like the Roguish one. But the trope is slowly zig-zagged. As you get to know them, "Noble" Timmon turns out Brilliant but Lazy, and "Roguish" Gorbel to be hard-working and driven, and quite honorable. Timmon's also kind of a slut, while Gorbel never shows interest in anyone. So in the end, even though Timmon is a good diplomat and Gorbel a good hunter, they're both Rounded Characters with Hidden Depths and more complex than the simple Noble and Roguish Dichotomy.
- Done on a racial level in The Death Gate Cycle with the Sartan playing the part of the Noble, and the Patryns playing the Rogue. Of course, various members skew differently and there are a few Not So Different moments.
- In Dragon Bones, the brothers Garranon and Landislaw. Garranon looks like a graceful stag, Landislaw more like a bull, or that's what the ladies at the court say. Their personalities match: Garranon the gentle and kind and Landislaw the "bad boy." Their first appearance is due to the fact that Landislaw bought a slave that didn't really belong to the seller, and said slave has escaped to Hurog. Garranon wants to retrieve the slave to get his brother out of trouble, but he's polite about it and treats Ward (who everyone thinks is mentally retarded, due to his Obfuscating Stupidity) with respect. Landislaw tries to grab Ward to shake him, which doesn't go well as Ward is a Gentle Giant who can drop the gentleness when provoked.
- The Dresden Files has Michael Carpenter, Knight in Shining Armor, sliding straight into the Noble role whenever he's sharing the page with the more anti-heroic protagonist Harry Dresden. Harry is often the Noble guy when paired with other men in the series, most notably Thomas, but it's hard to rank as noble when compared to Carpenter.
- Gone with the Wind: Ashley (noble) and Rhett (roguish).
- The Hunger Games: Peeta (noble) is gentle, kind, chivalrous, has quite the way with words, and advocates diplomacy over violence (even, at times, during the actual Hunger Games). Gale (roguish) is Hot-Blooded and passionate, believes that the ends justify the means, is eager to go out and fight, and became his family's main provider at age thirteen when he began poaching (eventually together with Katniss).
- In Knight and Rogue Series, main characters Michael and Fisk zig-zag this trope. While Michael is the nobleman and Fisk the rogue/semi-reformed con-artist, Michael is the more rash and reckless one while Fisk is the scholarly one. Over the course of the story, it becomes increasingly difficult to really tell which one is which.
- Simona Ahrnstedt in her debut novel Överenskommelser gives us Seth and Johan.
- Seth might be a better man than what you might think at first, but he does have a roguish thing going on, and he just keeps having meaningless affairs with numerous women. Johan is noble and pretty much flawless. But they're still close friends, and in fact, they eventually get married to two cousins.
- Interestingly enough, while Light Feminine & Dark Feminine is the technical Distaff Counterpart to this trope, Seth's love interest Beatrice (a Spirited Young Lady) and Johan's love interest Sofia (a Proper Lady) rather have a Tomboy and Girly Girl dynamic.
- Raymond E. Feist loves this trope: the early (and many of the later) books in The Riftwar Cycle all revolve around two male protagonists who slot neatly into these roles.
- Magician: Thomas (noble) and Pug (roguish).
- Silverthorn and A Darkness at Sethanon: Prince Arutha conDoin (noble) and Jimmy the Hand (roguish) -- literal in this case.
- The Backstory implies Arutha's father Duke Borric was the Noble one to his cousin Guy du Bas-Tyra's rogue.
- Shadow of a Dark Queen: Erik von Darkmoor (noble) and Roo Avery (roguish).
- A Song of Ice and Fire:
- Best friends and foster brothers Ned Stark (noble) and Robert Baratheon (roguish). Ned is incredibly honorable. Robert's heart is basically in the right place too, but not so bound by honor, and he's a total slut.
- Another pair of quasi-brothers, Robb Stark (noble) and Theon Greyjoy (roguish). As Ned's son, Robb is much like Ned. Theon has a mess of conflicting feelings and loyalties, and he spins out and implodes. After sleeping with a girl he shouldn't have, Robb marries her. Theon is a slut.
- Robb Stark's two most notable bannermen, the Wicked Cultured Roose Bolton and the Boisterous Bruiser Greatjon Umber. Similar to Berserk's example of Griffith and Guts respectively, Roose is an utter monster masking his Axe-Crazy, sadistic nature behind a gentlemanly veneer; and while Umber may be quite sexist, he is overall a good man.
- A Tale of Two Cities Charles Darnay (noble) and Sidney Carton (roguish). Interestingly, the two look quite similar.
- Tortall Universe: In Song of the Lioness, Alanna is torn between noble Jon (literally, he's a prince) and roguish George (often even called "the Rogue", given he's the king of thieves).
- The romantic rivals from Twilight: Edward (noble), though moody, tends to be noble and chivalrous (to the point of being old-fashioned), while Jacob (roguish), loyal though he is, is more of the impulsive "bad boy" and tries to pick fights with Edward on multiple occasions.
- David Weber's War God series has Bahzell (noble) and Brandark (roguish).
- Battlestar Galactica:
- Being Human: Hal (noble) and Tom (roguish).
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer & Angel:
- Angel is noble, selfless, calm, reserved, and generally chivalrous and gentlemanly. He goes to great lengths to help people and to achieve redemption for his past. While he has had other relationships, he's primarily bound to his love for Buffy (main love interest). Spike, in contrast, is roguish and nearly Angel's complete opposite: reckless, wild, emotional, and bursting with blunt snark. He is, though, fairly devoted to Buffy as well, despite his sharper edges.
- Noble: Ryan -- upstanding, by-the-book, hopelessly devoted to his wife Jenny (and a romantic even before they were married)
- Roguish: Esposito -- troubled past, willing to go behind the captain's back, flirts with various female characters (though loyal to Lanie when they're actually in a relationship).
- Doctor Who: The Doctor and Adric in Season 18 were an attempt at doing this.
- Roguish: Adric -- young, arrogant, relatively uneducated (despite being a star student by his own culture's standards), and tends to cheat or whine in order to get his way.
- Noble: The Doctor -- ancient, brooding, philosophical (despite being one of the more swashbuckling Doctors), extremely knowledgeable, and tries to keep a strict moral code. Though the flirt of the two, he's recently lost his Implied Love Interest and seems to have shifted far beyond concern.
- Noble: Simon is the obvious example, being a gentleman in manner and loyal and kind to his sister.
- Roguish: Jayne is the opposite extreme, big time, being violent and selfish.
- In-between: Mal is Not So Different from Simon as far as determination and protectiveness go, but Mal is less polished in mannerism.
- GARO: Kouga Saezima (noble) and Rei Suzumura (roguish).
- Hercules: The Legendary Journeys: Hercules (noble) and Autolycus (roguish).
- Legends of Tomorrow: Ray Palmer (noble) and Mick Rory (actual former rogue)
- The Vampire Diaries: Stefan and Damon Salvatore. Noble Stefan is polite and abstains from drinking human blood; roguish Damon makes snide remarks and kills people on a whim.
- Similar to Guilty Gear below, Ragna and Jin in Blaz Blue. Jin was brought up in a noble family in refined culture, and learned to fight as a Teen Genius in a prestigious Military Academy. He fights in a graceful and elegant style with Yukianesa, a long katana crafted from solid ice. By contrast, Ragna never received a proper education; grew up rather as a criminal, learning how to fight under the legendary hero Jubei. He relies more on brute force with Bloodscythe, a large angular sword that can transform into a scythe. Both of them care little for the world and are both Jerkasses (Ragna not completely, though).
- Dangan Ronpa: Kiyotaka Ishimaru the Ultimate Moral Compass and Mondo Oowada the Ultimate Biker Gang Leader are this respectively. The two come to blows at first by how different their views on strength are, until they decide that argument in an endurance contest that sees them become best friends over the similarities in their philosophies.
- Two of your three followers from Diablo III.
- Noble: Kormac the Templar is a noble paladin type who falls hard for Eirena, your third follower.
- Roguish: Lyndon the Scoundrel is a quite unrepentant rogue who is not nearly as good at attracting women as he thinks.
- This being Diablo, the two has Hidden Depths -- Kormac is revealed to have been lied to and brainwashed by his order, while Lyndon is doing everything in his power to pay off the Merchant's guild and get his brother out of prison.
- Dragon Age Origins has Alistair (noble) and Zevran (roguish), the two male love interests in the party.
- Final Fantasy series:
- Final Fantasy IV has noble Cecil, a Dark Is Not Evil, Black Knight Bishōnen (who eventually atones for his sins and becomes a Paladin) and roguish Edge, the flirtatious and impulsive ninja
- Final Fantasy VII:
- Noble: Cloud the blonde, pale, blue-eyed, androgynously beautiful (but still unambiguously masculine), a former soldier, pragmatic, chivalrous and a sword-fighter; though he can be quite flashy, he's still ultimately quite introverted.
- Roguish: Barret the Hot-Blooded Scary Black Man who's also terrorist with a vicious temper, little ability to restrain his emotions, and a huge gun mounted onto one of his arms.
- Though Cloud is the flirt of them two, Barret is more experienced (having been married) -- in one scene he advises Cloud to ask either Aeris or Tifa on a date, something in which Cloud claims to have no interest.
- Final Fantasy X: Roguish Jecht liked his alcohol, was boisterous, loud and reckless; noble Auron was more composed, dutiful and respectful. Both were badasses Rated M for Manly.
- Innes and Ephraim in Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones play it around. Fighting skills and looks-wise, Archer Archetype Innes looks Noble while spear-user Ephraim looks Roguish, but their personalities say the inverse: logical, cool-headed and Not Good with People Innes is the true Roguish one, while the charismatic, sensitive and impulsive Ephraim is more of the Noble one.
- In Fire Emblem Awakening, the roguish and street-smart Gaius has this going with his support conversations with the serene and faithful Libra and the honorable-but-sheltered Chrom.
- In Fire Emblem Fates, the cynical teaser Niles. He plays the role towards his serious lord-in-liege Leo, his boisterous partner Odin, and the Male Avatar (whom he can fall in love with).
- The first Front Mission game has two mercenaries you rescue, Keith and J.J., who have been best friends since back when they were in Africa. Plus, the members from the Coliseum fights -- just the younger two -- Meihua Yang and Gregorio, as a milder contrast.
- Keith (roguish) is the snarky Boisterous Bruiser, if not a Blood Knight, purely for the profit he makes off of it; while J.J. (noble), eager to make enough to support his family, tempers their mercenary tendencies (or tries to) as the duo's conscience.
- M. Yang (noble) joins the unit in order to find out whether her younger brother is still alive, and after satisfaction, continues to faithfully serve for the good of the unit; Gregorio (roguish) is the arrogant Coliseum champion from Freedom City, basically a milder version of Keith in personality.
- Guilty Gear has friendly rivals and occasionally partners Sol Badguy and Ky Kiske.
- Sol is a muscular and handsome Bounty Hunter with a bad attitude and a huge, angular sword that looks like a cigarette lighter. It's implied that Sol is a big fan of rock/metal music, especially Queen, and he can play the guitar.
- Ky is an effeminate and pretty blonde guy who's a Knight in Shining Armor and has a noble and chivalrous attitude to match, and prefers an elegant longsword in battle. In his spare time, Ky collects tea cups and is devoted to his wife Dizzy (who happens to be Sol's daughter).
- The classic Mega Man series has the two "brother" robots Rock/Mega Man and Blues/Proto Man who fit this early on, followed by the 7th game's introduction of the rival Forte/Bass who teams up from time to time.
- Noble: Rock/Mega Man, the classic Ideal Hero who will stay a faithful servant doing anything needed for his "sister" robot Roll and Dr. Light who built them both, as well as for humans and robots everywhere.
- In-Between: Blues/Proto Man, fiercely independent of Dr. Light and has been captured to do Wily's bidding once, but increasingly shown to have the heroes' backs as the series unfolds.
- Roguish: After Blues/Proto Man has fit this role less and less, Wily has the perfected the rival Forte/Bass, whose loyalty is off-and-on with Wily and mostly fights for his own prideful, selfish reasons, even when teaming up with the heroes.
- The three male Maverick Hunters of Mega Man X series by the time of X8 and Command Mission form a spectrum from Sensitive Guy to Roguish Male.
- Sensitive Guy: the pacifistic X who grows increasingly conflicted between fighting for the good of humans and ceasing to destroy any more reploids.
- Noble Manly Man: the young hunter Axl whose heart is generally in the right place, but also a wise-cracking and carefree Boisterous Bruiser.
- Roguish Male: Zero, the generally cold and emotionless Anti-Hero with an enjoyment of retiring enemy reploids, sometimes excessively.
- Tales of Symphonia: It's more apparent in OVA and Tales of Fandom 2 flashbacks, before they both hit their Cynicism Catalyst.
- Noble: stoic, businesslike Kratos Aurion, who remains loyal to the Big Bad, his friend and traveling companion from thousands of years ago. Flashbacks show him an idealist at heart.
- Roguish: caustic, defiant Yuan who is running La Résistance to defeat the plans of the same individual. Flashbacks show him far more practical and cynical even before Martel's death.
- Naturally, even when on different sides, they remain Vitriolic Best Buds underneath all the bitterness.
- Tales of Vesperia: Flynn Scifo (noble) is the Knight in Shining Armor, to lone wolf vigilante Yuri Lowell (roguish). This is just one of many contrasts they share with each other, while still remaining steadfast friends.
- Hades and Alexander in Olympus Overdrive. Their whole quarrel started in their different ideas of how a real man is supposed to be and must react.
- Nicholas and Jackson of The Wretched Ones.
- Adventure Time: The Fionna and Cake episodes prominently feature sweet, kind-hearted Prince Gumball (noble) and snarky punk-rocker Marshall Lee the Vampire King (roguish).
- Avatar: The Last Airbender gives us the violent and temperamental Xin Fu (roguish) and his partner, the calm and refined Yu (noble).
- Samurai Jack has the calm, clean-cut polite Jack (noble) and the hot-tempered, rough-and-tumble, obnoxious Scotsman (roguish).
- Thundercats (2011): Lion-O is the Noble to Tygra's Roguish. Played with, in that initially Tygra fits the "noble ideal" standards of his species much closer than Lion-O, but Lion-O is, generally, more idealistic and altruistic.
- Young Justice has the mature leader Aqualad (noble) and the temperamental muscle Superboy (roguish).