About a month ago, I put up a post on “The Reality of Fantasy”, featuring videos by the redoubtable Skallagrim, where he shared with us his knowledge of medieval arms and armor, along with his assessment of which arms and armor from our favorite fantasy media are viable, and which…really, really aren’t.
I meant to follow up on that post much sooner, but life interfered, as life will do. Still, we’re here now, and I have a whole new set of entertaining and educational videos to share with you.
The Youtube scholar we’ll be viewing today is the erudite Lindybeige. Where Skallagrim is a weapons enthusiast, Lloyd is a historian, archaeologist and historical re-enactor. This means that while he certainly does know a great deal about weapons and armor, he can also comment on things like what pre-modern wars actually involved:
Aspects of battle that we usually don’t think about:
Things that we’ve probably been imagining wrong for a long time:
(Including some that we’ll probably want to keep imagining wrong because honestly, the misconception is so much more awesome than the truth.)
And of course, the simple, humble things that we take completely for granted today. Things we don’t even think about, but which could make a universe of difference in terms of verisimilitude in your writing:
Funny, isn’t it? You never picture Arthur or Aragorn or Sturm Brightblade or Sparhawk pausing in the middle of battle to take a swig from their waterskin, do you? It’s almost like we forget pre-modern people had the same needs we do. Honestly, there’s no excuse for it, considering that there is a very famous poem on this very subject.
Sounds miserable, doesn’t it? Not to mention a recipe for Trench Foot. So grateful for my modern boots right now.
I must confess, I never thought of it that way. It’s funny what little, overlooked things make civilization possible.
Oh. And yeah, like Skallagrim, Lloyd tells us which fantasy weapons and strategies are viable, and which…really, really aren’t: