What is medieval fantasy for adults?

When we were children it was easy for us to become enchanted by stories and films that were riddled with unrealistic scenarios and outcomes because stories designed for children and the wider audience are for the most part unrealistic on purpose. After all, fairy tales intentionally contain absolutes and one-dimensional characters because they’re important for the growth of our children’s moralities and identities. And many traditional fantasy novels, inspired by medieval fairy tales, continue this pattern of writing for children and the wider audience. If you’ve chosen the path of a medievalist or simply are passionate about medieval living you probably already know how easy it is to be dissatisfied with most medieval fantasy. There are of course gems like The Traitor Son Cycle and A Song of Ice and Fire which are intentionally inspired by actual history rather than fairy tales and these tend to grab a different audience.

I dream for medieval fantasy stories that even the most scholared of academics can not only enjoy but lose themselves in just like they do when they read manuscripts in their preferred niche. Not yet to this day is there a medieval fantasy movie deserving the description ‘realistic’ (of course excluding non-fantasy historical epics from the 1920s to 1980s like A Man for All Seasons).

Once you’ve truly delved into medieval history you too will realize how unrealistic even the newest of medieval films and TV shows really are. For instance the movie Ironclad has thatch that’s only as thick as my thumb; The Last Kingdom shows everyone, even the rich, wearing drab-colored clothing; Game of Thrones, perhaps worst of all despite its reputation, shows swords stabbing through breastplates!

Realistic fantasy will never be better or worse than unrealistic fantasy because at the end of the day everyone needs something to read.

For further reading consider the volume Misconceptions About the Middle Ages edited by Stephen Harris and Bryon L. Grigsby

Once again I make a shout out to http://manuscriptminiatures.com/ for the amazing image!

 

 

 

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An Innovation in LitHEMA

realistic swordplay in books and entertainment

I dream of media that presents historical combat as realistically as possible, especially combat in the Middle Ages. Perhaps soon my dreams will come true. Enjoyment from debunking misconceptions in fantasy is a new but rapidly growing means of entertainment, made possible by the discovery of historical combat treatises and expressive historians like Lindybeige and Matt Easton.

sword fights in fantasy compared to real life

In a previous post I talked about the three rules of this exciting new niche. I mentioned that LitHEMA is a subgenre of fantasy and historical fiction, but what about other genres? To prove that realistic swordplay doesn’t have to take place in a historical context or a medieval fantasy, I am writing a post-apocalyptic action & adventure novel about a HEMA practitioner who must rely on his skills as a swordsman to survive. This novel will also fall into the science-fiction genre, therefore proving that LitHEMA can be a subgenre of anything, even horror for example, as long as it follows the three rules, staying true to facts and straying from popular myths, only saving the odd exaggeration for drama’s sake.

media that shows siege warfare realisticaly

Fantasy written before the discovery and availability of historical combat treatises are the classics that motivate me to write today, but the swordfights are lame. With that said, I hope there will soon be a long lasting web of HEMA-inspired entertainment available to the public.

Until then I have a lot of work to do.

Read “The Three Rules of LitHEMA” by clicking here. 

Vermiform and Silver Lining: Eveland’s Word and Wisdom of the Week

Due to my hectic schedule, I’ve decided to change my ‘Word of the Night’ service into a ‘Word and Wisdom of the Week’ service. Building a vocabulary goes hand in hand with collecting worldly wisdom, so I’m sure this service will benefit anyone who’s willing to follow.

WORD

This week’s word is vermiform. Vermiform is an adjective which means ‘having the semblance of a worm.’ For example, the vermiform sea monster wriggled onto shore.

WISDOM

This week’s wisdom is a gentle reminder to always see the silver lining. Some people always look for faults in things, commenting on what’s ugly and wrong. These tend to be the least happy of people. Others who train their minds to observe the good in things are more prone to smile when something goes amiss.

A few years ago, during what my friends would call my spiritual phase, I got really good at seeing the silver lining. I’ve since gone back to my old ways, and now I have to train myself all over again. I believe learning to see the good, even when the bad seems too burdensome, can not only improve your mental mood but increase your overall health as well.

Happy daydreaming.

P.S. If you’re a lover of blogs, my friend has started up a great news/motivational blog called The Canadian Spire. Check it out 🙂 http://thecanadianspire.com