History Literature / ThePillarsOfTheEarth

12th Apr '17 8:37:12 AM FictionFan101
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* BigBadDuumvirate: Waleran Bigod and the Hamleighs, particularly William. They're schemes are the main source of the problems that the people of Kingsbridge have to contend with.

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* BigBadDuumvirate: Waleran Bigod and the Hamleighs, particularly William. They're schemes are the main source of the problems that the people of Kingsbridge have to contend with.
12th Apr '17 8:36:46 AM FictionFan101
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* BigBadDuumvirate: Waleran Bigod and the Hamleighs, particularly William. They're schemes are the main source of misfortune that the people of Kingsbridge have to contend with.
* BigBadWannabe: Alfred Builder and Brother Remigius loathe protagonists Jack Jackson and Prior Philip respectively, devoting their entire lives to ruining them. Though they do their part, they're but small cogs in the plans of the story's true villains, Waleran Bigod and William Hamleigh. Ultimately their efforts amount to little and they are both dispensed when they are of no further use. Ultimately [[spoiler: Alfred is killed unceremoniously by Richard when the former tries to rape Aliena while Remigius pulls a HeelFaceTurn and later saves Phillip from disgrace.]]

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* BigBadDuumvirate: Waleran Bigod and the Hamleighs, particularly William. They're schemes are the main source of misfortune the problems that the people of Kingsbridge have to contend with.
* BigBadWannabe: Alfred Builder and Brother Remigius loathe protagonists Jack Jackson and Prior Philip respectively, Philip, devoting their entire lives to ruining them. Though they do their part, they're but small cogs pieces in the plans schemes of the story's true villains, Waleran Bigod and William Hamleigh. Ultimately their efforts amount to little and they are both dispensed dismissed when they are of no further use. Ultimately Later [[spoiler: Alfred is killed unceremoniously by Richard when the former tries to rape Aliena while Remigius pulls a HeelFaceTurn and later saves Phillip from disgrace.]]



* TheHeavy: Waleran Bigod's position and intellect technically make him the BigBad, but it is William who remains the most immediate threat to the people of Kingsbridge. While Waleran plots from the shadows, William is always active on the scene and driving the plot with his actions.

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* TheHeavy: Waleran Bigod's position and intellect technically make him the BigBad, but it is William who remains the most immediate threat to the people of Kingsbridge. While Waleran plots schemes from the shadows, William is the one who is always active on the scene and driving scene. His actions are what effectively drive the plot with his actions.story.
19th Feb '17 1:19:25 PM ImperialMajestyXO
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The Gothic Cathedral at Kingsbridge, it turns out, becomes more important than anyone imagines. Woven throughout this deeply personal drama are the civil wars between [[TheHouseOfNormandy King Stephen and Queen Maud]], and later the machinations of [[UsefulNotes/HenryTheSecond King Henry II]] and the priest Thomas Becket.

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The Gothic Cathedral at Kingsbridge, it turns out, becomes more important than anyone imagines. Woven throughout this deeply personal drama are the civil wars between [[TheHouseOfNormandy [[UsefulNotes/TheHouseOfNormandy King Stephen and Queen Maud]], and later the machinations of [[UsefulNotes/HenryTheSecond King Henry II]] and the priest Thomas Becket.
10th Jan '17 6:43:43 PM dustyham
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Added DiffLines:

** ''WorldWithoutEnd'' is a SurprisinglyImprovedSequel in this regard, with the guild and feudal manor systems in particular playing a prominent role.
12th Dec '16 7:08:56 PM FictionFan101
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Added DiffLines:

* BigBadDuumvirate: Waleran Bigod and the Hamleighs, particularly William. They're schemes are the main source of misfortune that the people of Kingsbridge have to contend with.
* BigBadWannabe: Alfred Builder and Brother Remigius loathe protagonists Jack Jackson and Prior Philip respectively, devoting their entire lives to ruining them. Though they do their part, they're but small cogs in the plans of the story's true villains, Waleran Bigod and William Hamleigh. Ultimately their efforts amount to little and they are both dispensed when they are of no further use. Ultimately [[spoiler: Alfred is killed unceremoniously by Richard when the former tries to rape Aliena while Remigius pulls a HeelFaceTurn and later saves Phillip from disgrace.]]


Added DiffLines:

* TheHeavy: Waleran Bigod's position and intellect technically make him the BigBad, but it is William who remains the most immediate threat to the people of Kingsbridge. While Waleran plots from the shadows, William is always active on the scene and driving the plot with his actions.
28th Aug '16 9:31:22 PM Jayalaw
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* VillainsNeverLie: Generally Waleran can't be trusted, and

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* VillainsNeverLie: Generally Waleran can't be trusted, and the only thing that can be is his promise to make sure the Kingsbridge Cathedral is never built. [[spoiler:By the end of the book, Prior Jonathan and a reluctant Jack believe that he has truly been broken by the Beckett scandal and thus can be trusted to live at the monastery as a humble monk.]]
28th Aug '16 9:27:50 PM Jayalaw
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* AxCrazy: William!

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* AxCrazy: William!William, to put it mildly.



* BreakTheHaughty: From the [[DeliberateValuesDissonance perspective of contemporary medieval characters]], young Aliena is a spoiled brat who reacts rudely to William's awkward attempts at wooing her. She suffers very, very horribly for it.

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* BreakTheHaughty: BreakTheHaughty:
**
From the [[DeliberateValuesDissonance perspective of contemporary medieval characters]], young Aliena is a spoiled brat who reacts rudely to William's awkward attempts at wooing her. She suffers very, very horribly for it.it.
** Waleran shrugs off most of the defeats tossed at him, but [[spoiler:losing political favor by suggesting Beckett's assassination]] finally does him in, as least as far as Jonathan and Jack can see.



* CharacterWitness: Remigius, whose gossiping gets Ellen banished from the village.

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* CharacterWitness: Remigius, whose gossiping gets Ellen banished from the village. Later on, after he is disgraced and [[spoiler:Philip decides to give him a second chance, he and Ellen save Philip from being accused of fathering Jonathan out of wedlock and confirm Ellen's tale that the previous Prior James and Waleran had condemned an innocent man for political benefit]].



* CruelMercy: Jack decides that [[spoiler:forgiving Waleran and pitying him is the worst kind of punishment he can bring on the priest for engineering his father's execution.]]



* DeadGuyJunior: [[spoiler:Tommy, the son of Jack and Aliena. Named after the deceased Tom Builder.]]

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* DeadGuyJunior: [[spoiler:Tommy, the son of Jack and Aliena. Named after the deceased Tom Builder.Builder, whom William killed and had tormented in life. Fittingly, after he becomes the new earl, he dispatches William for killing Bishop Beckett on charges of sacrilege and sentences him to the gallows.]]



* DidntThinkThisThrough: King Henry sending William as an assassin for Thomas Beckett, a well-loved Archbishop who's remained in good standing with the Catholic Church. The backlash following this leaves Henry at the mercy of the Church and God, and [[spoiler:William at the gallows on the charges of sacrilege.]]



* KarmicDeath: [[spoiler:William receives one courtesy of Tommy, Ellen's son with Tom, the new Earl of Shiring. William got his father unemployed twice, killed him in a raid on Kingsbridge, and has been tormenting his family, including his aunt Aliena. As the earl, Tommy exercises the right to arrest William on charges of sacrilege after the latter assassinates Thomas Beckett in a church.]]
* KarmaHoudini:
** William spends ''years'' getting away with murder, rape, pillaging, and sabotage because Waleran is the only priest who will absolve him.
** Waleran's role in [[spoiler:framing Jack's father]] doesn't do a thing to his reputation in the Kingsbridge priory, apart from disproving his accusations. He merely walks away when Jack demands answers from him. It takes [[spoiler:a political scandal which involves King Henry, William, and Philip to deliver the punishment of humility.]]



* MamaBear: Ellen leaves Tom when he won't do a thing about Alfred bullying Jack, in addition to being forced to stay away fro a year.



* OffWithHisHead: [[spoiler:Robert]] gets his head taken off cleanly.

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* OffWithHisHead: [[spoiler:Robert]] gets his head taken off cleanly. For Archbishop Beckett, it doesn't happen so cleanly.



* RichesToRags: Happens to Aliena twice. She first goes from pampered noblewoman to being homeless. She then becomes a wealthy wool trader but looses everything in a fire. Falling from a position of wealth and social prominence to needing financial support to survive.

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* RichesToRags: Happens to Aliena twice. She first goes from pampered noblewoman to being homeless. She then becomes a wealthy wool trader but looses everything in a fire.fire thanks to William. Falling from a position of wealth and social prominence to needing financial support to survive.


Added DiffLines:

* UnwittingInstigatorOfDoom: Philip telling Waleran about Bartholomew of Shiring's plans to overthrow King Stephen, in an attempt to protect the Church and bestow the responsibility on someone higher in Church standing, starts of chain of events that leads to William's father becoming the new earl, William to raping Bartholomew's daughter Aliena as revenge for her declining his proposal and insulting him, and Tom the Builder losing his first income in ages as well as [[spoiler:his life]] in good time. [[HeelRealization Philip seems to realize this]], since he buys Aliena's wool when no other merchant will buy from a woman and she needs the money.


Added DiffLines:

* VillainsNeverLie: Generally Waleran can't be trusted, and
21st Aug '16 5:32:27 PM bombadilla
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Added DiffLines:

* DanBrowned: Ken Follett claimed he did a lot of research for this book, but he appears to think medieval labor was capitalist (it was guild-based) and never to have heard about how various religious orders ran orphanages, and taking in neighbor's children was routine (hint: extended families and/or godparents), so there'd be lots of options for that baby one can't care for, apart from [[DeusAngstMachina leaving it on its mother's grave]]. He also repeats the very old, long-discredited idea that Beckett's canonization was a political maneuver. He doesn't understand medieval manorialism (he seems to think rents were owed individually rather than by the village collectively, reading the Post-Reformation landlord system back into the 12th century). Maybe we should amend his claim to, "I researched the architecture."
13th Jul '16 4:59:28 AM Morgenthaler
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* RedheadedHero: Jack!
29th May '16 12:56:12 PM Morgenthaler
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* {{Badass}}: Richard definitely qualifies. So much so he's knighted by King Stephen, [[spoiler: becomes one of Henry II's trusted battle advisors and fights William and two of his men at the same time!]] Not bad for a kid said to be clumsy with a sword when he was young. Also, William is a pretty competent fighter himself.
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