The television miniseries adaptated from the [[ThePillarsOfTheEarth book of the same name.]]

!!The miniseries contains examples of:
* AdaptationalAttractiveness: Lady Regan in the novel has hideous boils all over her face. In the miniseries, she's an otherwise attractive woman with a facial birthmark.
* AdaptationDistillation: Despite being eight hours long, the miniseries had to significantly abridge the 850+ page novel. Most notably, it cut most of the last part of the book, including all of the Henry II/Thomas Becket showdown, and substituted a different ending. Unfortunately, this compression led to some wonky history, which the book was generally good about.
* AdaptationInducedPlothole: The AgeLift of Richard in the miniseries means it makes much less sense whenever he doesn't step in to help his sister when she has trouble with an anti-woman culture.
* TheAtoner: a minor character is a former thief who rescues Jonathon when Tom is forced to abandon him and becomes one of the monks of Kingsbridge. Later, [[spoiler: Brother Remigius]]
* AgeCut: The last shot cuts forward [[spoiler: 840 years, to show Jack's cathedral still standing in the modern day]].
* BadDreams: William; Stephen to the point of PsychicDreamsForEveryone.
* BeardOfSorrow: Phillip at Tom's funeral
* BloodFromTheMouth: Repeatedly.
* BornInTheWrongCentury: Ellen is essentially a twentieth century feminist stuck in 12th century England. Aliana is also somewhat ahead of her time, although she fits in to society slightly better
* CainAndAbel: Jack and Alfred. Lampshaded by Jonathan.
* ClimbingClimax
* CompositeCharacter: Johnny Sixpence is now also the thief who steals Tom's pig.
* CourtroomAntics: Ellen disrupts Waleran's KangarooCourt by [[spoiler:revealing his direct role in Prince William's death.]]
* CreatorCameo: Ken Follett as a British merchant living in France, who was friends with Jack's father.
* CueTheSun: Masterfully invoked by Philip to put the fear of God into some quarriers. Later invoked in reverse by Jack with the unveiling of the statue that weeps at night (and for "at night", read "the second the sun crosses the horizon").
* CurbStompBattle: Henry vs. Eustace, who's scared and confused by the chaos of battle.
-->'''Henry:''' ''[[[BloodKnight cheerfully]]]'' Eustace! Eustace! Good to meet you, cousin! ''[kills him]''
* CurtainCamouflage: [[spoiler:Cuthbert]], complete with [[{{Hamlet}} Polonian death]] and [[DramaticCurtainToss dramatic reveal]].
* DarkerAndEdgier: The miniseries, in many respects. While it leaves out some of the gorier details of the novel, it also adds some incest to make the Hamleighs more [[VillainousIncest villainous]], and changes just about every death in the story into some sort of murder.
* DawsonCasting: 28-year old Eddie Redmayne and Hayley Atwell as teenaged Jack and Aliena in the early episodes. Justified by the need to dramatize a story that spans 35 years.
* DeadGuyJunior: [[spoiler:Tom.]]
* DeadlyHug: [[spoiler:William kills Regan by suffocation.]]
* DeadPersonConversation: Stephen has a few unpleasant visions of the late Henry I.
* DeathByAdaptation: [[spoiler:Waleran, Walter, Percy, Regan.]]
* DefiantToTheEnd: [[spoiler:Waleran]], who not only refuses Jack's offer to TakeMyHand, but then [[BloodFromTheMouth spits blood]] in Philip's face as he tries to administer the last rites.
* DiesWideOpen: [[spoiler: Tom Builder]].
* DisneyVillainDeath: [[spoiler: Waleran]].
* TheDragon: Walter, to William.
* DueToTheDead: A few, but most prominently for [[spoiler: Tom Builder]].
* EvenEvilHasStandards: While [[spoiler:killing the pig boy that Waleran substituted for Eustace]], Walter looks distinctly unhappy about it. He still does it, because he's got orders, but he actually hesitates. Waleran too; presumably he thought that the queen would let the boy go when she realised [[spoiler: he wasn't Eustace and so killing him would serve no purpose]], and he looks genuinely shocked when she orders him executed purely out of spite. The next time we see him he is putting tacks in his shoes while he prays for forgiveness.
* {{GET OUT}}! Tom to Jack, after he [[spoiler:confesses to burning the old cathedral.]]
* HeroicBastard: Jack, who has to rise above the grief he gets both from the church, and from his legitimate brother Alfred (who for his part resents being TheUnfavourite when by law he's his father's only "true" son).
* HistoricalVillainUpgrade: Stephen of England goes from "weak pawn of the nobles" to personally arranging the deaths of his predecessor, Henry I, and his son and heir so he can inherit the throne.
* HollywoodHistory: Several minor changes are introduced in the TV series for no possible reason other than because they are "[[TheThemeParkVersion so medieval]]". Among them:
** Waleran mortifying his flesh in classic ''TheDaVinciCode'' style.
** Ellen being forced to flee Kingsbridge because she is accused of witchcraft, instead of just because she is having an open relationship with Tom but refuses to marry him.
** St. Adolphus' skull being crushed during the destruction of the old cathedral, then promptly replaced with another skull by Prior Philip.
** Jack's father having his tongue cut and then being [[BurnTheWitch burned at the stake]], instead of just hanged.
** For dramatic purposes, the miniseries shows both King Stephen and his son Eustace alive in 1156 when they were both dead by 1154. Additionally, the miniseries has Eustace die [[spoiler: in battle]], when the real Eustace died of natural causes.
* GoodPeopleHaveGoodSex: We cut from Tom and Ellen having passionate, loving sex to Regan and Percy Hamleigh having perfunctory, unpleasant sex. The two even talk strategy during their intercourse.
* ItWillNeverCatchOn:
** Philip accidentally invents the futures market some 500 years ahead of time, and Aliena has to convince him that it makes sense.
** Also, Tom Builder’s idea of using glass to build cathedrals, which his sons laugh at. Jack later invents stained glass windows... which Philip thinks are a fad.
* IWantMyBelovedToBeHappy: Martha's apparently been nursing a bit of a crush on Jack ever since she was small, but never pursued it because he was clearly in love with Aliena (and also perhaps because she's essentially his stepsister). [[spoiler: This does however cause her to steal Jack's ring so as to have a small piece of him to herself]]
* KneelBeforeZod: Waleran demands this of Philip after he refuses to declare fealty to him.
* MyGodWhatHaveIDone: William and Waleran have moments when their conscience makes them feel guilty after the fact. Waleren usually scourges himself when that happens, while William fears he's going to Hell.
* MyRuleFuIsStrongerThanYours: Waleran tries to have Jack arrested on the cathedral site, and Philip invokes sanctuary. Waleran counts that the cathedral is unfinished and thus undedicated, so doesn't count as holy ground. [[spoiler:He's HoistByHisOwnPetard later when he tries to claim sanctuary himself.]]
* OnlyMostlyDead: [[spoiler: Jack Jackson]].
* ParentalIncest: William and his mother.
* ProphecyTwist: "Peace will reign and war depart/when arrows pierce my daughter's heart" - doesn't technically say that she'll ''lose'', mind you...
** Ellen's curse on Waleren, whom she predicts will climb high and then fall. Naturally you'd assume this to be a metaphor, but it happens literally when he falls from the roof of the cathedral.
* PsychicDreamsForEveryone
* RedHeadedStepchild: Tom is a redheaded [[HeroicBastard bastard]] child. Ironically, his stepfather (and stepsister, for that matter) treat him as a member of the family. This treatment is later applied to [[spoiler: Tommy]], who is also redheaded
* ScrewThisImOuttaHere: William's troop of soldiers all promptly desert him and Waleran during Jack's trial.
* SelfMadeOrphan: [[spoiler: William]].
* ShipperOnDeck: Ellen wants her son to be happy. To the point of cursing marriages that make him unhappy.
* SkywardScream: Richard, after killing [[spoiler:Walter]].
* SparedByTheAdaptation: [[spoiler:Richard.]]
* SpitefulSpit: "I fear I must now perform an unfortunate familiarity." Waleran to [[spoiler: Stephen after he's gotten captured and humiliated by his enemies, and needs Waleran to save him]].
* SufferTheSlings: William is hit in the head by a slung stone during the attack on Kingsbridge. It knocks him to the ground with a nasty bruise, which is enough [[KeystoneArmy to drive his men off]], but does no lasting damage.
* TakeMyHand: [[spoiler:Jack to Waleran.]]
* TookALevelInBadass: Richard went from a coward to a badass knight. All it took was three years of English civil war. (The additional ten years in TheCrusades didn't hurt either.)
* TrainingThePeacefulVillagers: When Kingsbridge is attacked by William. Richard does the training, and Jack gets them building a wall.
* TwoScenesOneDialogue: Ellen/Aliena convincing [[TheDogBitesBack Remegius/Elizabeth to betray Waleran/William.]]
** Alfred and Aliena's wedding and William and Elizabeth's.
* VillainousBreakdown: King Stephen has a ''huge'' one when he visits Kingsbridge and sees some red paint on a newly finished statue drop on the [[spoiler: fake]] relic of St. Adolphus, causing it to look like the “saintly skull” is weeping blood, then notices that Jack, its sculptor, is the fiery-haired artist boy he was warned about in a [[PsychicDreamsForEveryone vision]] of Henry I. He has another episode after finding out [[spoiler:his son Eustace has been killed in battle]].
* VillainousIncest: William and Regan. Provides a bit of an explanation for why William acts the way he does; one look at his face when he mother's coming onto him tells you that (1) he's really {{Squick}}ed out, and (2) this has likely been going on since he was very young. [[spoiler:One such overture directly leads to him killing Regan.]]
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: Elizabeth, William's Wife. Disappears after Richard retakes Shiring.
** She's briefly seen working for Aliena.