Realism in Medieval Fantasy Movies and TV Shows

realism in medieval tv shows

Every genre of movie makes mistakes and spreads historical misconceptions whether intentional or not. So for me to nit-pick medieval movies and TV shows specifically is kind of bias, but I’m doing it anyway because medieval stuff is awesome and I’d love to see more realism in this genre of film.

I’ve been following a lot of other bloggers who specialize in this and they all seem to have similar things to say. They wonder why medieval movies and TV shows are still so inaccurate when we have medievalists and HEMA practitioners spreading truth about the subject. The average person couldn’t care less and even TV show producers have their excuses, but I still have mine, too, and won’t stop complaining because this is what I do best. After all, I’m the Complaining About TV Expert┬áhere to make TV klickable again!

So here’s a list of six things I’d love to see more of in medieval-esque and pseudo-medieval drama across all boards:

  1. Castles that are plastered and painted.
  2. Armor that actually works against arrows and swords.
  3. Kings who have hundreds of officials doing the work for them.
  4. Historical farming and village structure.
  5. More dukes and counts with their own heraldic devises and not just kings ruling everything.
  6. medieval diet and customs expressed accurately.

So What’s Wrong With Historical Accuracy and Realism in Movies and TV Shows So Far?

First of all, I could have made that list hundreds of points longer but no one would read that. I could go into the architecture and clothing of medieval people and how they changed across time and place, but we need to focus on the basics first. Even such simple things as proper sword technique are highly disregarded in almost all medieval themed entertainment. It’s a shame that people who love to produce entertainment that’s trying to be medieval don’t actually do proper due diligence and research. Of course the same goes for every field where experts exist, but in historical TV shows especially it seems no one cares if what they’re watching is accurate and even worse other people actually think what they’re watching is true!

So let’s make more noise about this. On my blog I like to rant about all fields, but this is special to me because I find the medieval fascinating for whatever reason. If you find medieval stuff fascinating, too, and would like to see more realism in your entertainment then I suggest you start a blog of your own and rant your head off. The only other option besides trying to get across to the people who make this entertainment is producing entertainment of your own and most people can’t afford to do that unless they dedicate their whole lives to it. So join me in this quest to see more medieval realism on TV and let’s make a difference!