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Tarotcatures: A Five-Part Examination of the Courts as Characters; Part Two: The Knights

Who are the Knights in the tarot? And how can they be used in storytelling, especially for character development? In my new five-part series, I will examine the tarot’s Court cards, pairing them with characters from my favorite books, movies, and even people in real life.

Last week, in Part One, I started with an overview of how the tarot can be used in character development, followed by my thoughts around the personalities who I believe best represent the Pages.

This week, I am continuing my examination with the Knights. Next week, I’ll write about the Queens, followed by the Kings, and then I will wrap up the series with a fun activity. I hope you enjoy each part!

For a recap of the Court roles (Page, Knight, Queen, and King) and what each represents, as well as the suits (cups, pentacles, swords, and wands) and what they mean, check out last week’s Part One post.

Ever the lover of a story that gets moving and maintains the perfect pace, I believe the Knights keep their stories moving through action. Whether referring directly to a specific individual or to an actionable construct, my intuitive understanding of the Knights is that they are initiator cards. They take the messages from the Pages and put them into action, invoking movement and setting intentions for desirable outcomes as related to their suits, placement within a spread, and much more.

As such, let’s pair these meanings together and consider each of the Knights as a character. I believe the following characters demonstrate the qualities of the Knight card assigned to them. These individuals are among my favorite personalities from books, movies, TV, and real life.

Knight of Cups

If you haven’t yet watched Hustle on Netflix, stop reading this post (but come back to it, of course) and go watch the movie. And if you’re a sports fan, especially basketball, this movie is for you. That said—and without any spoilers—as soon as the story unfolded, I immediately connected Bo Cruz’s character with the Knight of Cups. The Knight of Cups represents emotional action, and to me, Bo’s motivation for excelling at basketball perfectly demonstrates this card.

Knight of Pentacles

The Knight of Pentacles is often interpreted as representing careful, calculated action taken at home, professional, and/or with material concerns. As such, when considering this card, I’m reminded of The Office’s super sensitive, goofy, calculated, and mischievous Jim Halpert. I mean, what better way of initiating both domestic and professional action than buying a house for your fiancé whom you met at said profession?

Knight of Swords

The go-getter of the Knights, the Knight of Swords puts their thoughts into action, working diligently and intelligently through processes and slicing through conflict. This Knight is resilience to the core. They are focused and determined, much like Jamal Malik in Slumdog Millionaire. To me, this movie was deserving of all the accolades and honors—what an incredible story! And impeccable performances by Freida Pinto and Dev Patel.

Knight of Wands

Rearing high on their fiery horse, the Knight of Wands rides into action. The most passionate activist, in my opinion, of the entire Minor Arcana, this Knight takes the emotions of the cups, the grounded strength of the pentacles, and the thoughts of the swords and ignites passionate action. When considering characters who demonstrate such inspired action, Angie Thomas’s Starr Carter, The Hate You Give, gallops over every other example.

What do you think?

What are your thoughts about my Knight card pairings? What about your own characters? Using what you know and/or have learned about the Knights in this post, which cards best represent your protagonist and/or antagonist?

Next week, I will continue my examination of the Courts as characters like a Queen, so set your crowns and stay tuned!

Next on the blog, I will continue with the next card in my Tarot Stories series: the Strength card.

In her more than thirty years as a storyteller and visual designer, Amanda “Mandy” Hughes has written and designed over a dozen works of upmarket, literary, and women’s fiction under pen names A. Lee Hughes and Mandy Lee.

Mandy is the founder of Haint Blue Creative, a space for readers and storytellers to explore, learn, and create. Although she earned a Bachelor and Master of Science in Psychology, she has yet to figure out her family, much less herself. And that's a good thing!

When she’s not writing, Mandy loves going to the movies, theater, traveling, nature walks, birdwatching, margarita-making, and binge-watching The Office. She is a tarot enthusiast who uses the cards to promote wellness and enhance creativity. She lives in Georgia with her husband and four boys, two of whom are furrier than the others (but not by much). Visit her website at and follow her on Instagram @haintbluecreative.

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