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"Pet Peeves in Medieval Movies" Topic

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Deucey Supporting Member of TMP15 Jan 2022 11:31 a.m. PST

For me it's:

1. The Church is Evil.
2. Flame is the secret weapon that wins every battle.
3. Armor stops nothing (just there to look cool)
4. Everything is dirty and there's no color.

14Bore15 Jan 2022 12:21 p.m. PST

4 especially for me, but think you nailed the subject

advocate15 Jan 2022 1:31 p.m. PST

I think I would re-phrase point 2.
Flame is used in every battle. It may be decisive, but usually only if used by the good guys.
I'll add 5) a duel will be decided using unarmed combat, even if the duellists begin armed and armoured.

olicana15 Jan 2022 1:45 p.m. PST

5. Horses fall in their droves when hit by arrows.

They don't. When hit they get unruly but they don't tend to fall over. Horses are big animals and very hard to kill, even with muskets.

cavcrazy15 Jan 2022 1:48 p.m. PST

#6. Guys in full body armor jump around fighting non-stop acting like ninjas with giant swords, and never seem out of breath!

Eumelus Supporting Member of TMP15 Jan 2022 2:03 p.m. PST

7. Infantry can easily leap up and unhorse cavalry in hand-to-hand combat.

8. After any initial exchange of arrows, battles consist of two bodies of troops charging in loose mobs at full speed towards one another, mixing completely in an utterly confused melee with no battle lines or mutual support from friends. The best weapon combination is sword and dagger – only a great fool would carry a polearm.

4DJones15 Jan 2022 2:10 p.m. PST

9. eating breakfast in full armour, having just got out of bed, and no imminent battle for miles around.

Perris070715 Jan 2022 2:35 p.m. PST

You really nailed it pretty good. Especially #1.
I would add the hero/main character either going into battle without their helmet, or better yet, tearing it off in the middle of combat.

HMS Exeter15 Jan 2022 2:44 p.m. PST

10. Nearly everybody has all their teeth.
11. No goiters.
12. Up until 1960, item 4 is reversed.
13. Vikings are universally portrayed as kleptotourists.

35thOVI Supporting Member of TMP15 Jan 2022 2:47 p.m. PST

Hmmm everyone way to clean. I mean these people rarely bathed. Streets too clean, they threw everything into the roads, plus have you ever followed a bunch of horses? Dodge, dodge, oh crap I stepped in it. Not to mention the amount of dust.

I was in the last group of 3500 marching men and probably 200 horses on a dusty road, on a lovely 90 degree day. Dust chokes you, horse crap everywhere, plus horse urine. By the end of day we stunk, shirts soaked, wool looked like we walked in a dust storm and didn't want to get near my brogans.

Castles were cold, damp and dark, not the bright sunny picture most movies have. Living back then would not be pleasant. But then, they had nothing to compare it to, so I guess paradise to them.

100 years from now, what will they think of us? 🤔

Cavcmdr15 Jan 2022 3:51 p.m. PST

"100 years from now, what will they think of us? 🤔"

Good point, well brought out.

Still savages is my guess.

Have fun.

Augustus15 Jan 2022 5:41 p.m. PST

Everything was dirty. They had no Tide and only very few had a concept of "soap."

Battles were mobs. There was no real command and control.

The Church was not always evil. This is true. But they had a nasty habit of helping themselves more.

Armor is almost always handled wrong. The Last Duel was pretty spot on with groin hits being common. Dark Age flicks are almost always completely wrong anyway.

Frederick Supporting Member of TMP15 Jan 2022 6:35 p.m. PST

Spot on for No 1 and No 8 – notably that every battle was a charge followed by a random series of hand-to-hand melees; who would anyone want a spear or a pike anyway?

Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP15 Jan 2022 7:45 p.m. PST

Actually, medieval people bathed regularly. The idea that they didn't is a modern myth.

I agree with the OP's list. I particularly hate the two-weapon ninja jump in combat. It's not only ahistorical, it's stupid.

Grelber15 Jan 2022 9:35 p.m. PST

Shields are a wasted effort, and you are better off carrying a weapon in both hands.
Actually, were around for the chain mail period and well into the transition to plate armor. Shields were useful on the defensive and could be used for offensively as well. I love watching Jean Reno in the movie "Just Visting" hacking at somebody with the sword in his right hand while smashing the shield on his left arm into somebody's face.


Erzherzog Johann15 Jan 2022 10:14 p.m. PST

Grelber wrote:
"I love watching Jean Reno in the movie "Just Visting" hacking at somebody with the sword in his right hand while smashing the shield on his left arm into somebody's face."

I'd abbreviate that to "I love watching Jean Reno."


bandit86 Supporting Member of TMP16 Jan 2022 12:34 a.m. PST

I just finished watching "the last duel" It was ok, 2 1/2 hours long. I wont get into the acting or anything but the actual last duels was pretty good (not being an expert) I did like that the impact of the jousts were brutal, the damaging blows were all to unarmored spots and when the did slash each other with their sword and hit armor… guess what? the amour worked but you could still feel the impacted. I thought it was good though not sure about the half visored helmets no wonder why Matt Damon's Character has a scared up face

Cerdic16 Jan 2022 4:33 a.m. PST

Actually 35th, castles were not cold, damp and dark while they were in use. They look that way now because most are in ruins!

A castle in medieval times would be very different. The outer walls would usually be limewashed, so they stood out in the landscape, massive bright, white buildings.

Inside the living quarters were plastered. The plaster would be painted, the medieval taste being bright, gaudy colours like a modern kindergarten!

Warmth was provided by absolutely massive fireplaces. Being made of stone, the fire would heat up the walls which would radiate warmth into the room.

Grattan54 Supporting Member of TMP16 Jan 2022 10:47 a.m. PST

Arrows can go through anything. No Armour can stop them if the arrows are shot by the good guys.

gregmita216 Jan 2022 3:29 p.m. PST

Inside the living quarters were plastered. The plaster would be painted, the medieval taste being bright, gaudy colours like a modern kindergarten!

That's a big annoyance for me too. Films, TV, video games, etc., almost always show bare rock. It's similar to bare marble syndrome with classical buildings. Actual period paintings show all kinds of colourful interior design.

Warmth was provided by absolutely massive fireplaces. Being made of stone, the fire would heat up the walls which would radiate warmth into the room.

And some places had underfloor heating, for example Malbork Castle or Maulbronn Monastery.

gregmita216 Jan 2022 3:32 p.m. PST

Streets too clean, they threw everything into the roads

Well, we do know that people in Medieval London dumped chamber pots onto the street, because we have court documents showing people being fined for it. So while people did do that, it was not with the prevalence you think.

Deucey Supporting Member of TMP21 Jan 2022 9:02 a.m. PST

I'm going to add: anything to do with the Templars.(I just tried to watch Knightfall)

sidley29 Jan 2022 12:49 p.m. PST

Defo armour being pointless. Even chain Mail is phenomenal. In those so called reality history programmes when they test medieval weapons they always smash them through butted mail whereas Mail was riveted and that could stop a two handed axe. Love this short video, says it all YouTube link

Dave Crowell04 Feb 2022 7:22 a.m. PST

One thing I think is overlooked in a lot of weapons and armor trials is the difference between a static target and one that is moving. If you are hitting a dummy on a post all of the kinetic energy from your strike is going to transfer. If you are hitting a living man some will be absorbed in moving him backwards, some will be lost by any attempt to dodge. Mail can also be worn over padding to help further reduce the impact of blows.

That said the differences between butted, riveted, and welded mail are quite significant. Yes, some mail was welded, it is not impossible to produce forge welded rings for mail.

It doesn't take much effort at all to drive a spear through bone, and blades do not need to be sharp to do significant damage. I can easily chop a chicken in half with plain bar stock. Not cleanly, but it will be in two pieces.

42flanker05 Feb 2022 12:39 a.m. PST

Ahem, "chain Mail"

42flanker05 Feb 2022 12:50 a.m. PST

There was no real command and control.

Isn't that why the conventional wisdom was to engage the enemy in dense formation, with warnings that to break formation risked disaster? That at least was the guiding principle. The Arabs in the east were wary of more heavily armoured Franks when they advanced in densely packed formation. The tactic of al karr wa 'l-farr – known to the Castilians in the west as tornafuy was intended to induce the Christians to break formation and allow groups and individuals to be dealt with 'in detail.'

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