Where’s the armor?

Here’s an odd observation for fantasy fans.

Think about all the most popular/famous fantasy characters (fiction, not mythology) through the years. Now think about how many of them wore heavy armor.

Yeah. Weird, huh? For some reason, heavy armor types–who were, historically, among the elite of their time–make up a tiny minority of really popular characters. For some reason, the readership in general tends to prefer to lightly-or-no-armored variety. (Not that there are zero knightly popular fantasy characters; but really very few of them, comparably.)

And yep, this remains true even if you remove the traditional "wizard" types, and focus only on fighters and that ilk.

Any thoughts as to why? I’ve my own, but I’m curious what you all think.