The second instalment of everyone’s favourite gritty drama series about the fall of the Knights Templar is coming (Season 2 premiered this week on SBS), and if you want to hit the ground galloping, you’ll probably be interested in a refresher on what happened during the first 10 episodes. Since you’ve prayed hard, rode hard, slaughtered Saracens hard and accumulated the secret wealth of the Holy Land hard, we’ve put one together for you.
What am I looking at here?
Unlike a lot of historical series, Knightfall brings us in at the end. The glory days of the Knights Templar are long past, and now they’re making enemies left and right with their famed hordes of treasure and growing threat to the power of the throne. And look, while Knightfall is a fun and exciting series with plenty of hot sex and sword’n’board battling, we wouldn’t recommend using it as a source in your history essays.
The Holy Grail is…
…really the driving force behind this whole narrative, smashed against a tree and maybe a red herring. We started at the Siege of Acre, where it seemed the Holy Grail was lost via a flaming catapult hit during the Templars’ retreat. Fast-forward 15 years, and they’re cooling their heels in Paris – until their leader, Godfrey, is killed by road agents and passes off a couple of clues to the Grail’s true location.
Suddenly our heroic holy warriors have a new goal to focus on, instead of arguing over whether Jews are worthy of their protection or the relative benefits of feeding paupers. Of course, a dying Mamluk warned the Templars that it would be nothing but trouble for them, and that seems to have come to pass, given the countless reversals, betrayals and sledgehammers-to-the-knee that have resulted since.
Did I remember that King Phillip killed Joan?
Yeah, he totally stabbed her in the pregnant stomach after she asked him to spare Landry’s life (if you missed the subtle inference there, the gestating baby was Landry’s, and the king had previously considered the Templar his BFF). But then Landry fed Joan from the Holy Grail, and she seemed okay… until she wasn’t. But then! The baby inside her moved, and they delivered that love-child on the battlefield.
Who or what is Landry, really?
Pope Boniface was totally going to kill The Most Handsome Templar EverTM . Then Landry’s mum had a word in his shell-like, and the papal murderation was called off. What’s the go with that? And while we’re on the subject of what the go is with things, what’s the go with that note hidden inside the ensmashenated Grail, that mentions our man by name? With Mark Hamill joining the show in season two, we can’t help but think of another young man of mysterious heritage… yep, our theory is that Landry is Anakin Skywalker.
History’s worst spymaster is back
One of the funniest things in season one was how bad King Phillip’s oily advisor and all-round sneak, De Nogaret, was at manipulating the people around him. In the first few episodes, every Machiavellian scheme this goateed villain hatched was almost immediately thwarted. In fact, he really only hit his stride when Princess Isabella went rogue and asked for his help with killing the Catalonian prince she thought had publicly shamed her. And if you know your history, you’ll know Isabella will one day be called “The She-Wolf of France”, so it makes sense that she’d be the inspiration for his first espionage-based success…
Season two of Knightfall airs Wednesdays 8:35pm on SBS and new episodes available to stream after broadcast on SBS On Demand. First two episodes now streaming.