The Knightly Orders of the Empire are a heroic brotherhood of armoured warriors who ride into battle atop mighty barded warhorses and sometimes other, more exotic creatures into battle. Knights are magnificent figures, clad in gleaming full plate armour crafted by Dwarfen smiths, armed with weaponry of the finest quality. To become a Knight is also to become one of the most elite warriors the Empire has to offer. [3a]
Many sons of the Imperial nobility choose to join one of the many brotherhoods located throughout the Empire as a way to progress through society, and as such, the Knightly Orders come in many different shape and sizes. Some of these Orders, like the Knights Griffon, only recruit from the local nobility, while others become templars of a particular Imperial deity, such as the zealous Knights of Sigmar's Blood or the Knights of the White Wolf. Some are well known throughout the Empire, while others are quite small, relatively unknown sects valiantly doing their part to make the Empire a safer place for Men to live
Although the common people might find little distinction between the many Knight Orders of the Empire, upon closer observation, one will realize that there are two distinct types of Knightly Orders within the Empire itself. These types are divided between the common Secular Orders (An Order of Knights with no specific allegiance to a Ruler or Religion), and the religious Templar Orders (An Order founded for the purpose of servitude to a particular god).
Templar Orders are brotherhoods of champions of a particular deity, and act as the figurative 'mailed fist' of their respective religious cult. As well as fighting on behalf of the Empire, they are responsible for defending the temples of their cults and taking the forefront in any holy wars.
Notable Templar Orders
- Knights Griffon: fanatic Sigmarites.
- Knights of Morr: Silent worshippers of Morr
- Knights of Sigmar's Blood: staunch Sigmarites.
- Knights of Taal's Fury: include a large number of demigryphs.
- Knights of the Blazing Sun: Powerful champions of Myrmidia.
- Knights of the Fiery Heart: champions of Sigmar, committed to the destruction of Goblinoids and the persecution of heretics. 
- Knights of the White Wolf: ferocious warriors of Ulric.
- The Reiksguard: Bodyguards of the Emperor.
The members of Secular Orders will honour most gods in an equal measure.
Notable Secular Orders
- Knights Encarmine
- Knights Panther, an order dedicated to human purity and the eradication of mutants.
- Knights of the Everlasting Light
- Knights of the Black Bear
- Knights of the Black Rose
- Knights of the Broken Sword
- Knights of the Gold Lion, an order fiercely loyal to the Empire.
Weapons and Equipment
- 6th Edition: Barded Warhorse, Full Plate Armour, Hand Weapon, Lance, Shield. May have First Knight, Musician, Standard Bearer. May have Magic Standard. May be Knight of the Inner Circle. [3a]
- 6th Edition: Knight of the White Wolf: Barded Warhorse, Cavalry Hammer, Full Plate Armour. May have First Knight, Musician, Standard Bearer. May have Magic Standard. May be Knight of the Inner Circle. [3a]
- 1: Trollslayer (novel) by William King, The Dark Beneath the World (Short Story)
- 2: Warhammer Armies: The Empire (8th Edition), pg. 45
- 3: Warhammer Armies: The Empire (6th Edition)
- 3a: Knightly Orders, pg. 12
- Uniforms & Heraldry of The Empire, pgs. 60, 61, 62, 63
- Warhammer Armies: The Empire (4th Edition), pg. 52
- Warhammer Armies: The Empire (7th Edition), pgs. 40, 41
- The Enemy Within campaign, volume 1 (1986), pgs. 18, 27