Hop is the main rival character in Pokémon Sword and Shield. He's the younger brother of the Galar Region's champion Leon. 

Personality

Hop is an energetic and enthuastic individual who enjoys Pokémon Training and engaging in friendly competitions with his childhood friend Victor/Gloria. Hop highly looks up to his older brother Leon, who is the champion of the Galar Region. Hop initially seems to be cocky and overconfident, often proclaiming that he'll be the next champion and boasting about his skills as a trainer coming form being the champion's younger brother.

It soon made clear however that Hop has an inferiority complex, feeling that he's living under his brother's shadow. Hop constantly tries to imitate Leon's style of Pokémon battling down to even copying Leon's gestures and poses. Hop begins to suffer from self confidence issues after losing to Bede, causing him to feel that his own weakness damages Leon's reputation. Opal pointed out that Hop's desire to copy Leon's steps is misguided, as he's more focused on living up to his brother's legacy than making a legacy of his own. Hop's confidence issues begin to affect his skill as a trainer, as he begins to erratically change his team without focus which in turn causes him to fall behind in the Gym Challenge.

Nevertheless, Hop tries to keep a positive mind despite his repeated failures, and after some help from Victor/Gloria he's able to get back on his feet and catch up in time for the finals. Despite this however, Hop once again was defeated in the championship finals, when this happened Hop was visibly frustrated but took the loss graciously. Hop's involvement in stopping Eternatus' rampage and rediscovering the lost Legendary Pokémon Zacian and Zamazenta also helped his confidence issues.

Hop's confidence issues however worsened again after Victor/Gloria became the new champion and his other rivals Bede and Marnie both became Gym Leaders, as he felt he was being left behind. Hop rediscovered his passion for Pokémon training while helping Victor/Gloria stop Sorward and Shielbert's schemes, and also realized that he enjoys helping other people with their problems. Once Hop bonded with either Zacian or Zamazenta he fully regained his confidence as a trainer, and after a final battle he ended his rivalry with Victor/Gloria in good terms as he found a new carrer path were he can truly stand out on his own without copying Leon or any of his rivals.

Biography

Hop is the younger brother of the current champion of the Galar Region, Leon. One day Leon gifted Hop and his friend Victor/Gloria Pokémon of their own so they could become Pokémon Trainers. Not long after obtaining their first Pokémon Hop and Victor/Gloria went into the Slumbering Weld to find a stray Wooloo that had run into the forest. Inside the forest the two were attacked by a mysterious wolf like Pokémon that could not be harmed and were knocked unconcious before they were rescued by Leon.

Hop and Victor/Gloria told Professor Magnolia about the incident and found a Wishing Star, prompting the professor to recommend that Leon endorse the two to participate in the Galar Pokémon League. Hop's Gym Challenge initially went well as he switfly obtained the first three badges, but he was defeated by a trainer named Bede who accused him of relying too much on his status as the champion's brother rather than proving his own strength. After this defeat Hop became determined to prove Bede wrong and not tarnish Leon's name, but he began to struggle in his Gym challenge and was contiously defeated by Victor/Gloria, further hurting his ego. While traveling through the Galar region Hop also helped Sonia discover the truth behind the mysterious Pokémon at the Slumbering Weld as well as a legend regarding "The darkest day in Galar" at several points. Hop eventually managed to reach the championship finals but was defeated by Victor/Gloria again in the final round, ending his Gym Challenge as the runner up.

Later that night Hop and Victor/Gloria were supposed to meet up with Leon for dinner but Leon did not show up. Piers informed the duo that Leon was stuck in an important meeting with Chairman Rose and helped them sneak into Rose tower to find Leon. Hop battled several of Rose's staff members while Victor/Gloria defeated Rose's assistant Oleana. the duo found Leon and Rose arguing over an energy crisis that will affect Galar in the future, with Leon refusing to suspend the final match so that Rose would attempt something to solve the crisis and left with Hop and Victor/Glora.

Rose ignored Leon's warnings and reawakened "The darkest day", which was actually an extremely dangerous Pokémon named Eternatus which escaped and now threatened to destroy Galar, forcing Leon and Victor/Gloria to cancel their match. Hop suggested going back to the Slumbering Weld to find the mysterious Pokémon there, as according to Sonia it was the one that defeated Eternatus in the past. Hop and Victor/Gloria ventured into the forest where they found two Pokémon, Zacian and Zamazenta, the real heroes of Galar. However the Pokémon were unable to help in their weakened forms, so Hop suggested they instead take Zacian and Zamazenta's weaponry, which had now been reduced to a rusted sword and a rusted shield. Hop and Victor/Gloria confronted Chairman Rose about his actions, Rose insisted that even though he put Galar in danger and now is hated by everyone, he only did so under the belief that harnessing Eternatus was the only way to save Galar from an inevitable energy crisis. Hop retorted that they do not hate Rose, as he's responsible for the Gym Challenge encouraging trainers to become better.

Hop went to find Leon about to catch Eternatus, but Eternatus escaped and took an even stronger form. Hop and Victor/Gloria attempted to battle Eternatus in its Eternamax form but were vastly outmatched, at that moment the Rusted Sword/Shield awakened Zacian and Zamazenta, restoring them to their original forms so that they could help the two trainers take down Eternatus. With that crisis solved, Hop then witnessed Leon finally be defeated by Victor/Gloria, ending his brother's tenure as champion.

After the Galar League ended Hop found himself lost in what to do next, as his best friend was the new champion while his other rivals now were Gym Leaders and Sonia had become the new regional professor, so he visited the Slumbering Weld to reflect on how he's falling behind everyone. Hop was found by Victor/Gloria and Sonia, who reminded the two to return the Rusted Sword and Rusted Shield. However the three were ambushed by Sordward and Shielbert, two descendants of the Galarian royal family who stole one of the rusted weapons from Hop. Hop, Victor/Gloria, and Piers banded together to stop the sibling's schemes and recover the stolen weapon. During that incident Hop bonded with either Zacian or Zamazenta depending on the version of the game while Victor/Gloria bonded with the other Legendary Pokémon.

After Sorward and Shielbert were defeated Hop challenged Victor/Gloria to one final battle during which he reflected on his journey as a trainer, acknowledged that his whole time he had been trying too hard to be like Leon, and that he realized that he truly enjoys helping people and Pokémon alike even outside of battling. After the battle ended Hop declared that he now intends to become a Pokémon Professor, Victor/Gloria approved of this decision and gave Hop a final handshake to end their rivalry. Leon applauded Hop for finding a new path where he can standout and Sonia offered Hop to be her new assistant in order to begin his training as a professor. Hop can then be found at Sonia's lab where he states that studying to be a professor is hard but also fun.

Trivia

  • Hop visibly copies several of Leon's gestures and poses in his battle animations.
  • Hop is the first and final opponent in the game's story.

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