|Emperor Charles the Great by Albrecht Dürer|
|Roland, the most famous of Charlemagne's Paladins.|
The titular character of Have Gun--Will Travel was simply known as "Paladin." The connection between the Western hero (or cowboy) and the Knight (chevalier or cavalier) is made explicit with his calling card. Not convinced? Give the ballad a listen.
It's no surprise that the hero on the white horse moved from Medieval Western Europe to the 19th C. Western United States. The translation will also be made back and forth with the Samurai in Japanese movies, particularly those of the great Akira Kurosawa. Then along came the Dungeons & Dragons phenomena in the 70s and 80s. Little boys who'd never heard of Charlemagne were suddenly pretending to be warriors who were not only noble, but even holy and righteous. It was Lawful Good or bust!
|A Paladin in Hell by David Sutherland|
|"I'm a righteous boy! I can't do that, it's against my alignment!"|
|Illustration by Alex Aparin.|
You've come a long way, baby.
EDIT: Just found this site. Hopefully it will be expanded.