June 12, 2015

'Surrender to an Age of Bravery and Honor'

Medieval Times!  Where you can experience a Medieval joust and dinner.  We went for the first time last night.  I went with an open mind ~ half expecting to be disappointed and half expecting to be wowed. 

I was wowed. Maybe not for the reasons you’d expect though. 

I wasn’t excited by the spectacle.  What really was so cool about the performance was the sheer athleticism and skill of the knights and the horses and the falcon.  The knight actually did what knights did all those years ago.  They were expert horsemen and they hooked tiny rings on the ends of their lances.  The swordfighting was choreographed, but it was vigorous and sparks flew from the metal swords.  So cool.  The jousting was real.  I’m sure there are lots of protections in place, but the lances shattered as the knights aimed for each other’s shields.  

And the animals. Oh my gosh.  The horses were amazing.  So well trained yet full of get up and go.  You could really tell the knights who had been at this for a while and those just starting out by the way they set in the saddle.  The falcon swooped over the crowd and took the lure.  She was amazing.  Every year people get gored by buffalo and stomped on by moose in Yellowstone Park. They think of these creatures as what you see on the screen.  But these are living breathing creatures with minds of their own.  It’s not like driving a car.  It’s more like training a dog.  They may or may not do what you want them to, and if you’re not careful, you will get injured. Horses are like very large and powerful toddlers who get very scared and uncontrollable very quickly.

I also think modern movies and cartoons have taken away the awe of physical feats.  We see these amazing things in cartoons or in computer animation and we think they’re real, and so when we see real people doing real things, we think they’re boring. Yet we know we couldn’t perform them.  We’re not as grounded.  Our imaginations have been fed so much that we lose touch with everyday miracles.

So it wasn’t the campy Medieval pageantry that moved me, though that was fun.  I liked the food, though some didn’t.  “Baby dragon, but it tastes like chicken,” our server Bryn told us.  He was great ~ the perfect blend of Southern and British accents.  No, it was the amazing physicality of it all.

My daughter, who’s sometimes too cool for school, said she wasn’t going to cheer, but she was swept away with it all, especially when she got a carnation thrown to her from our knight.  She loved it, as did my son.  But she said ~ and I agree with her ~ “If this had been real, it would be gruesome.”  Makes you think sometimes that we really aren’t so civilized, you know?

But our fabulous black and white knight won (just as the script told him to).  Here’s the character’s story:
Don Iofre Santa Creu is the defender of the ancient shrine at Santiago de Compostela. Adorned in Black & White, he is mightiest in skill among an order of warrior priests whose arrival upon the field brings despair to the impure of heart. In prayer, humble. In service, loyal. In battle, invincible!

The actor playing the black and white knight was so great, so athletic, so in character.  Fabulous. He was of Asian descent with long flowing black hair. Our charming and dynamic champion!!


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