Alphabet Post: K is for Knight

420px-Accolade_by_Edmund_Blair_Leighton

Knight seems to be a no brainer for the letter “K” given my medieval series and the emphasis romance has on knights. Indeed, the knight arose during the medieval period, around 1000 CE as part of the medieval social order when there emerged three classes of people: those who worked, those who prayed, and those who fought.

After the fall of the Roman Empire, Europe was “dominated by an aristocracy descended from a mixture of old Roman families and Romanized Germanic tribes.” These men became rulers of their own land holds, usually a castle and a certain amount of land. These lords depended on the strength of their retainers, arms-bearing men who swore fealty them and lived within their households. This is the beginning of the knightly social class who became defined as warriors on horseback.

In return for their service, the lord would usually give the knight a small parcel of land or fief, with authority over the peasants who worked the land. This authority led to the knight’s elevation into the ranks of the nobility.

Knights as the warrior class adopted a set of idealized behaviors known as chivalry to be followed both on and off the battlefield. These behaviors included being a ferocious fighter, a devout Christian concerned with the well-being of the weak and helpless, a charmer who loved to dance and flirt with ladies, and a man who would allow no stain on his honor.

Although there was no standard of chivalry to which the knight was held, there did arise,800px-Jousting_at_Hever_Castle,_Kent_(5)_-_geograph_org_uk_-_1453366 in literature, a standard of sorts where the treatment of noble women were concerned. A knight was expected to honor and serve his lady, whoever he might choose her to be. She could be the lady of the castle where he received his training or a lady who he esteemed from afar but never met or a lady he was destined to marry. Whatever their relationship, the knight was bound to do whatever the lady bid him do. Many stories of King Arthur and the Round Table, especially those with Lancelot as the central figure, illustrate this idea of devotion to the lady although often the lady is portrayed as mocking or disdainful.

Scene-from-A-Knights-Tale-001One of my favorite movies dealing with knights is A Knight’s Tale. Even though it is filled with anachronisms, the jousting and fighting sequences are very well done as well as its portrayal of courtly love between Will and Jocelyn. (Just disregard the music, the dancing, and the Audrey Hepburn-esque heroine’s clothing. LOL) It is also very fitting and funny that Will chooses to call himself Ulrich von Liechtenstein, a famous real-life knight-poet who lived in the 13th century (about 150 years before the time the movie is set). If you haven’t seen it, you really should. It’s a great knight’s entertainment. 🙂

Do you have a particular favorite movie or romance novel that deals with knights?

If you’re interested in medieval romance with knights, check out my medieval serial novel, Time Enough To Love. Book 1, Betrothal and Book 2, Betrayal are available at Amazon.

betrothal-with-logo1Betrayal_logoBeleaguered3

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16 Responses to Alphabet Post: K is for Knight

  1. I love the movie, “A Knights Tale”. I’m still sad that Heath Ledger is gone.
    My favorite book that includes knights in its characters if Rosemary Sutcliff’s “Sword at Sunset”. It’s my go-to book on Arthurian Legend. It always makes me cry, and there’s that element of history in it–that a man of the northern tribes who fought in the Roman army, did unite all the tribes of Britain after the Roman withdrawal. Well-written. Sutcliff also wrote “The Eagle of the Ninth” that the movie was based on. The movie was okay.

    The story of Lanval is sad. “Never for love, and not for you, Would I be to my lord untrue”.

    Good post, Jenna. 🙂

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  2. Toni Kelly says:

    Fascinating, as much as I love reading and watching the,, I never knew the origins of knights.

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  3. melissakeir says:

    I believe there are nights in The Princess Bride too… maybe Robin Hood, Men in Tights… certainly the knights in the Holy Grail….Can you tell my favorite knights… at least until I met your knights!

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  4. lizaoconnor says:

    I don’t think I gave knights any thought at all until I read your fabulous books. Waiting with impatience for your third.

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  5. Daryl Devore says:

    When you know history – watching movies is hard. Sometimes I can ignore the issue and sometimes I throw popcorn.
    Tweeted

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    • Jenna Jaxon says:

      That may be one reason I never watched The Tudors HBO series. I couldn’t get past the costumes which were anything but period. I too can ignore it sometimes, sometime, not so much. 🙂 Thanks for the tweet!

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  6. Knights does seem like a natural choice for K, Jenna. I remember portrayals of knights from my days at Renaissance Faire, though they were horribly anachronistic in many respects. They did some jousting there and it was always exciting. I enjoyed the knights in the movie Excalibur, but I can’t think of any other movies that made as lasting an impression on me, where Knights were concerned. Good post!

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    • Jenna Jaxon says:

      Thank you, Trish! I really enjoyed Excalibur too. Very gritty and realistic. I still remember the scene where Arthur was conceived: Uther didn’t even bother to take off his armor! I was scandalized when I saw it. LOL

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  7. Daisy Banks says:

    I love the image you have for the post. I have a small framed copy on my wall. The picture is so very romantic. My favourite knight is Gawaine from the Arthurian legends. I also like the Monty Python Knights who say Ni.

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    • Jenna Jaxon says:

      Thanks for coming by, Daisy. Yes, that is one of my favorite paintings too. I love the pre-Raphaelite medieval series. I don’t know that I have a favorite knight from the Round Table, but I also love the Knights who say Ni. LOL I would also love to see a production of Spamalot. 🙂

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  8. I love a Knight’s Tale too. Great post. Shared via Linkedin

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    • Jenna Jaxon says:

      Thank you, Andrea. It’s funny, but I don’t like other movies that have anachronisms in them, like Moulin Rouge, but I just fell in love with A Knight’s Tale. Heath Ledger and James Purefoy probably have something to do with that. 🙂

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  9. Topazshell says:

    Luv to read about knights in romances.

    Like

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