Wondering if anyone watched the premiere of History Channel’s “Knightfall”? [SPOILERS]
When younger, I was very interested in the Holy Grail as a topic of history/archaeology (too much Indiana Jones as an easily-influenced child). I read everything from Chretien du Troyes' Perceval/Wolfram von Eschenbach's Parzival, as much medieval source literature I could get my hands on, some EXTREMELY esoteric stuff, and modern historians' writings about the Templars. So I was naturally curious to see if the History Channel could do with the Templars what they did for Vikings (which I think is a great series, balance between entertainment and actual [well, mythical/legendary] history).
I thought it was pretty awful, to be honest. It drops into the story of the Templars at around 1306, a year before they were accused of heresy in France and arrested en masse, which felt like a complete disservice to the almost 200 years of Templar history to take place before that. There's brief discussion of the wealth that the Templars possessed at the time, but none of how it was acquired, which is incredibly interesting and carried enormous political consequences throughout their existence. The Dan Brown Holy Grail plot line is shoehorned in EVERYWHERE, and it's truly annoying – if someone's only exposure to anything related to the Knights Templar comes from the Da Vinci Code, having this show reinforce that is troubling. It missed a huge opportunity to both set the record straight and also grab people's attention by acting out the factual rise, decline, and fall of the organization – the real history is more fascinating than the shadowy global conspiratorial secret society nonsense that dominates the Templar narrative.
The only good part, I think, is that the show is clearly recreating the original story of du Troyes' Perceval, with a lot of Geoffrey of Monmouth's version of the King Arthur tale mixed in. If the simple young farmer character named Perceval wasn't enough, he leaves his farm to return a bloodied sword to the Templars which also contains a secret concerning the Grail, the Templar Grandmaster ("Fisher King") is wounded and dies, there's a second wounded knight, conveniently called Gawain, Perceval's fiance is killed while he is gone (in the story, it's his mother, and she dies of a "broken heart" to see her son chase after the lifestyle of a medieval knight), and the main character Landry (Lancelot?) is carrying on an affair with Queen Joan (a Guinevere analog, likely).
Okay, rant over. Sorry if this doesn't belong here, I don't think it violates Rule 3 of misrepresented history but if it does, I apologize. Just wanted to know if anyone took issue with this show.