Author：Verbena C. W，Elaine Yang
The knight is a symbol of fidelity and bravery in Western culture. Knights live by their own principles and are seen as heroes. Many Western fantasies such as Lord of the Rings and King Arthur feature knights, with some as the protagonists and attracting plenty of readers. Female readers also see the knight as their fantasy man.
Few readers know about the knights in Eastern fantasy literature, these knights are also skilled in fighting and protect their homeland, but have Eastern characteristics not found in their Western counterparts.
The Eastern knight is based on the character designed by the fantasy literature writer, which is especially true in fantasy novels. Unlike Western knights who are of noble lineage, who receive orders and medals, and are influenced by Christianity, Eastern knights can be of common birth. They can show their identity or hide who they are; they live in the same world as we do. When they fight, they can ride horses or dragons, they can even master the creatures and monsters as invented by the author.
The Forever Knight series in China has been the most unique and popular novels in the genre in recent years. The “Knight of the Curse” as portrayed by one of the writers, Chen Chen, is a knight of revenge borne out of the oppressed people after a brutal invasion. With a knighthood given by supernatural powers, he is seen as enemy number one by all the oppressors. His power lies in controlling zombies with his soul and mind, and actually looks like a zombie himself from Resident Evil. There is also the “Knight of the Sea,” from the imagination of author Pu Gongyin, who strongly features China’s dragon culture and fantasies. These knights live in elaborate palaces under the sea, and ride creatures of various forms. The two most unique creatures are similar to the prominent totems of Chinese culture, the kylin (unicorn) and the phoenix. Author Lu Lili wrote about female knights known as “Knight of the Rose,” who live in a matriarchal world. While they can pick any man as their lover, they are trapped by their emotions. The various kinds of Eastern knights come in different forms, they can be kids, wizards, or scientists, they appeal to readers in different ways and are adored by readers on many book review sites.
In animation and graphic novels, the Eastern knight is also popular, and their image is even more multifaceted. The word knight could be merely a symbol, they can live in the past or the future, or right now. They can be rockers or bounty hunters, the only constant is that they are always faithful to the one they love, even if they have to give up their life.
As the knight culture changes and evolves, cultivating more and more excellent literature, the Eastern knight will become more familiar to Western readers and bring in more fans for the fantasy genre.