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Meet the Medieval Times knight people on TikTok are swooning over

Rigo Cardenas wasn't even on TikTok when he began stealing hearts on the platform.
Rigo Cardenas.
Rigo Cardenas.Courtesy Rigo Cardenas

During a Sunday shift at a Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament theater in late October, Rigo Cardenas got a text from a high school friend saying that he was going viral on TikTok.

Cardenas, 22, who performs as a knight at the themed chain, didn't even have a TikTok at the time.

So after his second show of the day, as he fielded dozens of messages from friends, he looked up the video — posted by an attendee — that was turning him into the platform's biggest heartthrob.

"It was definitely like a smile ear-to-ear of, like, embarrassment," Cardenas told NBC News by phone Tuesday. "It's pretty fun."

That initial TikTok, posted Oct. 24 by user @Ch3rryCig4rette, briefly shows him on horseback before the user reverses the camera to show her face. Her jaw drops in awe. That video has since racked up nearly 2 million views.

Another video, posted by the same user on the same day, shows Cardenas flipping his dark shoulder-length hair as he walks across the arena, sword in hand. That one's garnered nearly 3 million views.

“It was absolutely going crazy," Cardenas said of the number of views the videos were receiving.

Since then, others have made their way to the Medieval Times location in Buena Park, California, where he has worked for three years, to get their own video of "The Black and White Knight," as he is now known on TikTok.

Soffia Ramsey, 19, is one Cardenas' fans who got to see him in action. She posted a video of him, this time performing as the green knight, which as been viewed more than 1.5 million times.

"In the video I posted, Rigo was actually laughing at my friends and I, who were hyping him up," she said. "And I think that smile is what everyone is going crazy for."

She added that while she's not 100 percent sure why Cardenas has blown up, she thinks it's because of all the different people he resembles.

"I think it's just so crazy how much he looks like Timothée Chalamet and [actor Tom Hiddleston's] Loki, and the entire internet is deciding the same thing," Ramsey said, adding that other lookalikes include the character Sirius Black from the "Harry Potter" series and musician Sam Kiszka from the band Greta Van Fleet.

Some smitten TikTokers have even made videos attempting to court Cardenas.

When Serena King, 20, first saw the viral video, she was struck by how much he looked like one of her favorite "Star Wars" characters, Kylo Ren, who is played by actor Adam Driver in the films.

But since Cardenas was dressed as a knight, King, who is a New Jersey-based cosplayer, put on a time period-appropriate outfit and filmed her own TikTok.

"My immediate reaction to seeing that video on my 'For You' page was, 'I need to get changed into my medieval outfit and pretend I'm a princess because he's so cute,'" she said.

In her video, King wears a flowing dress and corset, and, addressing Cardenas, asks, "Do you need a princess or, you know, like, your damsel in distress?"

She said she's not sure if Cardenas ever saw her video, but she said many of the commenters said they, too, were swooning over their favorite knight.

Seeing just how excited the users on the platform were getting about him and encouraged by his friends, Cardenas decided to give his loyal subjects what they desired most: his own account.

“I was the least, sort of, up for embracing it but everyone was like, ‘Dude, you have to because if that was me I would.’” he said. "I just made an account with no videos and then I got like 5,000 followers with no content whatsoever."

In roughly a week he’s amassed more than 125,000 followers.

One video Cardenas posted of himself fully dressed as a knight, in which he says he receives "sweet messages in old English" from women who are making him "blush," racked up 3.2 million views in three days.

The other videos on his account show off Cardenas packed schedule, which includes working at Grommets Leathercraft, another one of his employers, and practicing gymnastics, something he said he's been passionate about all his life.

He said his 70-hour work week has prevented him from spending too much time responding to his new throng of fans.

"I run a busy schedule so it's not like I have time to sit and ponder and sort of fawn over comments," Cardenas said, adding he's trying to make videos in the rare moments he has down time.

Medieval Times did not immediately respond to NBC News' request for comment on their employee's newfound popularity on TikTok.

And as for his fellow knights at Medieval Times, Cardenas said at first they teased his new status as an internet hunk — but now, they're hoping to fight for TikTok's heart, too.

“For the first few days after it happened, I would walk into work and everyone would start clapping. 'They’d be like, ‘Hey, TikTok knight!’" he said. "[When] they learned that Medieval TikTok was trending, they jumped in immediately."