The classic fantasy knight is a wonderful invention, simple in design and easy to write. They are heroes of the battlefield, loyal to their kings, and there is a lot we can learn from the Middle Ages by reading about them. Generally speaking, however, they are very far from the real medieval knight and if they were presented more realistically we could learn a whole lot more. Not every knight was a hedge knight or a knight errant. Most of them had their sh*t together. So how can we make our fantasy knights more like the real knights of the Middle Ages? If there’s one thing reading dry history books and attending university lectures has taught me, it’s how to answer that question! So here are four ways you can make your fantasy knights a whole lot more realistic and historically accurate! And, thank the good gods, none of them have to do with tournaments and damsels in distress!
Like I often say, Columbus lived in the 15th century. He was a medieval thinker. He invited a bunch of people to his party and now we’re all wondering where in Dante’s Inferno we came from. For many people, things like Mordhau and Game of Thrones fulfill that service of telling us where we came from, even if unintentionally. The entire world as we know it with all its mountains and rivers existed in the Middle Ages. From Chang’an to Baghdad and Rome to London, the medieval world is vast and full of unfinished stories.
What I’m about to say may seem mad, but it’s also supposed to be entertaining so enjoy. Bring a bucket of salt with some fresh air in it.
Why is there a growing population of people becoming more interested in “medieval” realism in 2019? Why not stone age realism? My short answer is because the “medieval” is central to the Gothic Revival of the 21st century.
Nationality, culture, history and identity are all concepts in which the “medieval” for many plays a key role in shaping what they truly mean, especially in the West. The Second Gothic Revival is a product of the renaissances of the Modern Era.
Today the word “breakfast” gets shuttlecocked across American streets like coffee. Ah, there’s nothing like a mug of coffee at 4 A.M. with some jazz music. Coffee’s good with breakfast, too. Hey, wait. Is that why breakfast wasn’t relatively prevalent in the Middle Ages?–because they didn’t have coffee? That’s a deep, sociological question. Today, I just want to answer the question “did people eat breakfast in the Middle Ages?”
I didn’t know or care what a perfect day was until I unintentionally experienced one. It was a day off. I was 24 years old, and my idea of a perfect day has since changed dramatically, but this is my story nonetheless. Like most days away from my fake job, I rose from bed to do my real job. I made coffee and picked up a book.
I read some of Bernard Cornwell’s Harlequin, specifically the last battle at Crécy. I love how Bernard somehow teaches history through light reading. During lunch, I watched my favorite YouTuber’s daily video. It was coincidentally a historical evaluation of the Battle of Crécy. How strange?