Black knight

For other uses, see Black knight (disambiguation).
An actor playing the part of a Black Knight in the 1995 Black Knight fair in Ashton-under-Lyne.

The black knight is a literary stock character, often contrasted with the knight-errant; also see white knight. The character famously appeared in Arthurian literature and has been adapted and adopted by various authors, in cinema and popular culture. The character is sometimes associated with death or darkness.

Historical significance

In music

Composer Edward Elgar composed a cantata titled The Black Knight.

In literature

•The GrailQuest series of adventure gamebooks by J. H. Brennan feature a character known as the Black Knight in the first three books. In the first two, however, the character turns out to be King Pellinore. In the third book, the real Black Knight is the final enemy the reader must defeat in order to complete the adventure.

In sports

In finance

In business, a white knight is a friendly investor or savior, while a black knight is a destroyer. Typically, a black knight will enter a business or company as an influential person such as a major investor or a member of the board of directors and will dismantle a profitable or asset-rich business to enrich themselves, which typically leaves the previously profitable company in a weaker financial position.

They achieve this by:

Occasionally, the term black knight describes an investor who acquires a firm in opposition to the will of its management, as in a hostile takeover. This is only partially true as the ultimate intention of the acquirer is unknown. It could be for business reasons and not personal reasons, such as merging the entity with another entity owned by the acquirer to create synergy.

In popular culture

See also


  1. Wikimedia Commons has media related to Zawisza Czarny z Garbowa.
  2. Zawisza the Black of Garbów
  3. Lambdin, Laura C. (2000). Encyclopedia of medieval literature. ISBN 0-313-30054-2. The black knight condemns Fortune, who introduced him to the perfect woman, and allowed him ...
  4. "Army West Point unveils new brand identity, logo for athletic teams '=''='url='=''='publisher=national collegiate athletic association".
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