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Thursday, December 14, 2017

Knightfall 1.2: Grail and Tinder

Knightfall is shaping up as a powerful, wheels-within-wheels kind of story, simmering with all kinds of intrigue and crossed loyalties in just its second episode, 1.2

And we get a new, charismatic character, Pope Boniface, commandingly played by Jim Carter aka Carson (from Downton Abby),* ready to use his authority to shape Europe as God through Boniface thinks best.  He has a worthy antagonist in the irreligious lawyer De Nogaret, close adviser to the King of France.  In this round, Boniface succeeds in averting his own death, and letting the lawyer know that the Pope knows exactly what De Nogaret tried to do.

*Come to think of it, Tom Cullen playing Landry is from Downton Abby, too, as is Julian Ovenden as De Nogaret!

But De Nogaret fares better with Brother Gawain, who will do almost anything - not betray the Knights, but tell De Nogaret about the Grail - for the promise of getting his leg healed.  We know that won't happen, which means that Gawain in on the way to a world of guilt and grief.

By the way, I've got to say that I think the Holy Grail is a weak grand motivator of so much in this story so far, but I'm willing to accept it as the McGuffin.  Far more interesting are the loves and battles of the major characters, and the Pope's vision of a new crusade to liberate the Holy Land once the Grail is retrieved (but why is the Grail so essential for that?).

The love between Joan and Landry of course can't run smooth, and Landry is already showing signs of not letting anything get in the way of his being Master of the Order, including a rendezvous with the Queen.  Significantly, the Pope knows about their affair, which makes him even more powerful. And just for good measure, we have the, I don't know, flirtation of Isabella with her Uncle (coming from Isabella).  Age-wise, she'd go better with Parsifal, but he's still mourning the love of his young life, and she's now betrothed to the Prince of Catalonia.

All of which is good, smoldering tinder for what now promises to be an excellent season ahead.

See also: Knightfall 1.1: Possibilities

 
historical science fiction - a little further back in time


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