Literature / Ivanhoe

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Ivanhoe and the Black Knight — Costumes for the 1828 Stage Adaptation

Ivanhoe: A Romance is an 1819 historical novel by Sir Walter Scott, set in the reign of King Richard The Lion Heart and largely concerning the long-smouldering antagonism between the Normans and Saxons in the centuries after the Norman Conquest — an antagonism which, at that date, is highly anachronistic (one might call it a sort of Hollywood History) and largely the product of Scott's teeming imagination. In the face of severe criticism by his own contemporaries on this and other historical inaccuracies, Scott himself admitted, "It is extremely probable that I may have confused the manners of two or three centuries," but comforted himself that "errors of this kind will escape the general class of readers." And indeed, despite the author's Whig history limitations and prejudices (which are evident), Ivanhoe is a stirring and colourful tale, with plenty of action, lovable heroes and heroines and hissable villains, and a real feeling for the genuine — if extremely exaggerated — romance of The High Middle Ages.

The novel was originally something of a Pot-boiler. Scott's popularity as a poet was waning in the face of the more exotic verses of Lord Byron, and his over-gentrified lifestyle and a life-threatening bout of illness had left his pocketbook in an equally sickly condition. His Scottish novels were popular enough, but of limited appeal; Scott felt, moreover, the need for a fresher source of inspiration — so he turned to History and The Middle Ages, the object of his lifelong and devoted — if not always pedantically accurate — study. The novel won immediate, long-lasting, and deserved popularity, restored Scott's fortunes, and helped to launch the entire Historical Fiction genre.

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    Adaptations 
Scott's novel has had a number of adaptations.

  • A stage version was prepared as early as 1826, the pasticcio opera Ivanhoé, which combined existing melodies by Gioacchino Rossini with new texts. Sir Walter attended a performance and was not impressed.
  • The opera Der Templer und die Jüdin (The Templar and the Jewess) by Heinrich Marschner had its German premiere in Leipzig in 1829 and was put on stage over 200 times in various German theatres during the following 70 years. It was first produced in English in London in 1840 and was first performed in America in 1872 (New York).
  • Another German composer, Otto Nicolai, wrote Il Templario (The Templar), which was first produced in 1840. Other operas based on the novel were Ivanhoé by Thomas Sari, Rebecca by Bartolomeo Pisani and Rébecca by A. Castagnier.
  • The French composer Victor Sieg won the prestigious Prix de Rome for his dramatic cantata Ivanhoé, which was first performed in 1864.
  • For English-speakers, the best known operatic adaptation is probably Sir Arthur Seymour Sullivan's rather turgidly solemn 1891 adaptation, which impressed Queen Victoria and ran for over 150 performances.
  • In 1850, William Makepeace Thackeray produced the parodic Fan Sequel, Rebecca and Rowena: A Romance Upon Romance, in which Athelstane and Rowena die and Wilfred marries a converted Rebecca. This parody was popular enough that it was adapted to the stage in turn.

There have been several Film Adaptations.
  • Two appeared in 1913:
    • Ivanhoe was a US production, directed by Herbert Brenon, and starring King Baggot as Ivanhoe, Leah Baird as Rebecca, Herbert Brenon as Isaac, Evelyn Hope as Rowena, and Wallace Widdicombe as Bois-Guilbert;
    • Rebecca the Jewess was directed by Leedham Bantock and featured Lauderdale Maitland, Ethel Bracewell, Hubert Carter, Nancy Bevington, and Harry Lonsdale in the same rôles, respectively. (Oddly, both were filmed in the same locations at Chepstow Castle in Wales.)
  • In 1952, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer produced what is probably the best remembered film version, Ivanhoe, directed by Richard Thorpe, and starring Robert Taylor as Wilfred, Elizabeth Taylor as Rebecca, Felix Aylmer as Isaac, Joan Fontaine as Rowena, George Sanders as Bois-Guilbert, Finlay Currie as Cedric. This version was nominated for three Academy Awards, for Best Picture, Best Colour Cinematography, and Best Score for Mikls Rzsa; it stressed the spectacular and swashbuckling elements.
  • A Russian adaptation in 1983, The Ballad of the Valiant Knight Ivanhoe (Баллада о доблестном рыцаре Айвенго, Ballada o Dovlestnom Ryzare "Ayvenho") appeared, directed by Sergey Tarasov, starring Peteris Gaudins as Ivanhoe and featuring songs by Vladimir Vysotsky.

There have also been quite a number of Live-Action Television adaptations of the novel:


Tropes employed by this novel (and its various adaptations) include:

     The Book 
  • Abhorrent Admirer: Athelstane and de Bracy for Rowena; Bois-Guilbert for Rebecca; Prince John for Alicia Fitzurse.
  • Adaptation Distillation: A number of the various adaptations have successfully reinterpreted the original in the terms of their own eras. The 1952 version was extremely popular in an age which demanded spectacle. The 1982 version attempted a sort of Adventures of Ivanhoe approach, and featured some striking performances. The 1997 A&E/BBC version went for a Darker and Edgier, de-romanticized interpretation that captured more of the sense of suspense and tragedy in the novel than other versions. As is the way with most great works, each age will get the kind of Ivanhoe that best suits it.
  • Adult Fear: Being part of a subjugated race. Check. Having arrogant aristocrats able and willing to do whatever they want to do to you with the approval of the law. Having a Corrupt Church tell you that you are supposed to be subjugated. Check. Being mocked because your ancestors lost a battle. Check. Being kidnapped by a would-be rapist. Check.
  • All Love Is Unrequited: Guilbert loves Rebecca who loves Ivanhoe who loves Rowena.
  • Altum Videtur: The churchmen in this novel are very prone to lapsing into gratuitous Latin. Even Rebecca does it at one point.
    • Lampshaded by Wamba, who tells Cedric that repeating "Pax vobiscum" will be enough to make him seem like a authentic friar.
  • Anachronism Stew: As Scott himself admitted. See above.
  • Anticlimax: In the trial by combat to determine the fate of Rebecca, Brian de Bois-Guilbert, the invincible Templar, is facing Wilfred of Ivanhoe, who is still recovering from his wounds — but when they actually joust, Bois-Guilbert simply keels over dead, "a victim of his own contending passions," and Wilfred is left standing there, looking awkward.
  • Being Good Sucks: One reason Rebecca doesn't really enjoy herself in the novel.
  • Berserk Button: For Gurth, Cedric attacking his dog Fangs.
  • Betty and Veronica: Rowena and Rebecca for Ivanhoe, Athelstane and Ivanhoe for Rowena, Ivanhoe and Bois-Guilbert for Rebecca.
  • Big Damn Heroes: The Black Knight for Ivanhoe, Ivanhoe for Rebecca.
  • Black and White Morality: Certainly most of the Goodies are very good, and most of the Baddies very bad, but it does not prevent them from being memorable characters. One is inclined to say that, rather than being Black and White, they are all rendered in primary colours.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Perhaps the most outstanding examples are Friar Tuck and Cur-de-Lion himself.
  • Burn the Witch!: Rebecca's fate if her champion loses the Trial by Combat.
  • The Care Taker: Rebecca the beautiful Jewish maiden cares for Sir Wilfred of Ivanhoe after he is wounded in the tournament at Ashby-de-la-Zouche.
  • Character Development: Sir Brian de Bois-Guillbert evolves from fully intending to rape the lovely Rebecca to trying to persuade her to turn Christian and voluntarily become his mistress to finally offering to throw away a lifetime of ambitions and plots if she will only accept him. The extent to which this is improvement is highly questionable since he remains unwilling to take "no" for an answer throughout and intends to let her be burned alive as a witch if she won't accept him. On the other hand it certainly demonstrates his sincere interest - which puts him one up on Wilfred who barely knows Rebecca's alive.
  • Character Title
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: As when Front-de-Buf threatens to roast Isaac alive on a grill.
  • Christianity Is Catholic: The setting dictates this, though Sir Walter throws in a number of hints that "it ain't necessarily so."
  • Corrupt Church: Sir Walter, being a conventional if not convicted Presbyterian, invented quite a few corrupt churchmen as Take Thats against the Roman Catholic Church: the worldly Prior Aylmer, the proud, cruel, and lustful Bois-Guilbert, the ignorant and violent "hedge-priest" Friar Tuck, the unscrupulous Malvoisin, the fanatical Beaumanoir, the greedy and treacherous Abbot Wolfram who betrays Athelstane. Indeed, there is not a single completely decent cleric in the whole novel.
    • To be fair, Prior Aymer's faults are made up for to a large degree by his good nature. He is fonder of the wine, the women and the hunt more then a churchman should be but he is not cruel like many of the characters and not a Knight Templar.
  • Courtly Love: Played straight by Wilfred and Rowena and Rebecca for Wilfred; subverted by Athelstane and de Bracy for Rowena; beaten all to hell and back by Bois-Guilbert for Rebecca
  • Dated History: The view popularised by Sir Walter, of plucky "English" commoners still resisting their "Norman" overlords a century or two after the Conquest was questioned even in Scott's own time, and almost wholly abandoned by serious historians within the same century.
  • Driven to Suicide: What Rebecca will be if Bois-Guilbert tries to seize her in the tower of Torquilstone.
  • The Dulcinea Effect: Ivanhoe champions Rebecca, who is not his Love Interest. Of course, he owed her his life.
  • The Dung Ages: Averted in Scott's original novel, though some adaptations have depicted at least parts of the setting this way.
    • They are sure not presented as sweet, kind, and pleasant ages though.
  • Estrogen Brigade: In-universe. In the first volume, the narrator spends a lot of time repeatedly pointing out how much the ladies enjoy tournaments and matches between knights even more enthusiastically than many men.
  • Evil Chancellor: Waldemar Fitzurse — not personally depraved, but certainly ruthlessly ambitious — and a heck of a lot smarter than nearly all the other baddies.
  • The Evil Prince: Prince John, whose taking of this role in the Robin Hood legend was cemented by Scott.
  • Fate Worse Than Death: Rape, emphasized by Ulrica and Rebecca. The latter, in fact, is so determined to avoid this - as well as being forced to convert - that she's ready and willing to throw herself out of a tower.
  • Gratuitous Norman French: Mort de ma vie! The Normans here are always bursting out with Gallic oaths and phrases — in fact, the novel practically opens with a long discussion between Gurth and Wamba of the intermingling of French words with English and the subtle distinctions of meaning between them both.
  • Foil: Rowena and Rebecca, as Scott shows by paralleling their reactions to their would-be-rapists.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: We're told that Reginald Front-de-Boeuf's scars would have made a positive impression if displayed on an entirely different kind of man. On Front-de-Boeuf, however...
  • Greedy Jew: Isaac of York in Ivanhoe is somewhere between an example and a subversion. He's a moneylender with seemingly unlimited stores of riches who is very concerned with his money, but he helps Ivanhoe out of gratitude when he is hurt and frequently expresses that his love for his daughter trumps all of his wealth.
  • Happiness in Slavery: Lampshaded. When Cedric offers Wamba his freedom Wamba asks that it be bestowed upon Gurth, joking that it is more pleasant to be a slave because no one asks slaves to go to war.
  • The High Middle Ages: To be exact, the year 1194 A. D. (But see The Middle Ages below.)
  • Historical Fiction: One of the Trope Codifiers.
  • Historical-Domain Character: Prince John and Richard Cur-de-Lion
  • Historical Hero Upgrade: Richard I — though Scott's depiction is not uniformly a positive one; his Richard is proud, reckless, a bit sensual, rather violent, and perhaps on the whole not an entirely inaccurate depiction of the warrior king. Still, he does seem to leave out the kings extreme arrogance, deviousness, intolerance, morbidity, and occasional bouts of almost insane fury. (The theory, by the way, that Richard was a homosexual — which would doubtless have scandalized the strait-laced Puritan Scott — was not seriously advanced until after his time.)
  • Hollywood Costuming: Scott's descriptions of clothing and armour are wildly at variance with our knowledge of 12th century costume.
  • Hollywood History: At times nearing Critical Research Failure.
  • Honour Before Reason: Wilfred tries to explain this concept to Rebecca, who still insists on Reason before Honour.
  • I Can Still Fight: What the wounded Wilfred asserts for Rebecca's trial by combat.
  • I Gave My Word: As Bois-Guilbert tells Rebecca: Many a law, many a commandment have I broken, but my sworn word, never.
  • It's All About Me: Brian de Bois-Guilbert, who is too blind to even be aware of it.
  • Knight Templar: Averted, oddly enough, by most of the actual Templars in the story, but played absolutely straight by Lucas de Beaumanoir, who is a Knight Templar in both senses of the term indeed, the Grand Master of the Order.
  • Light Feminine and Dark Feminine: Virginal Rowena (light) and desirable Rebecca (dark).
  • Literary Agent Hypothesis: Scott originally published the novel under the pseudonym Laurence Templeton, in which guise he claimed he was merely transcribing and editing an actual medieval document, the "Wardour Manuscript" note  — though the authors actual identity seems to have been an open secret.
  • Love Dodecahedron: Rowena for Wilfred; Athelstane for Rowena, Maurice de Bracy for Rowena, Wilfred for Rowena; Rebecca for Wilfred; Bois-Guilbert for Rebecca.
  • Lust: Exemplified by a number of the baddies, perhaps most egregiously by Brian de Bois-Guilbert.
  • Medieval Morons: Averted for the most part; though some play is made of the credulity of the crowd during Rebecca's trial, it is made clear that the accusing witnesses found by Malvoisin are acting more out of greed, envy, and political corruption rather than out superstition. (Beaumanoir, though a fanatic, is not exactly a moron.)
  • The Middle Ages: Scott's Early Romantic, "Look-to-the-Knight-of-the-Fetterlock-Fair-Rebecca" conception of the 12th century England veers at times very close to the Theme Park Version of the mediæval period.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: A lot of these. The Templar Preceptor Albert de Malvoisin ("bad neighbour").and his brother Philip; Reginald Front-de-Boeuf ("Or 'Beef-head'" as Richard Armour put it, in The Classics Reclassified). Waldemar Fitzurse's last name means "Son of the Bear" — which was also the surname of the ringleader of St. Thomas Becket's assassins.
    • Scott states outright that Waldemar is the assassin's son.
  • Never My Fault: Bois-Guilbert, refusing to realize that Rebecca is in danger of being sentenced to burn mainly because he kidnapped her.
  • Noble Bigot: Cedric, who is enraged against the bigotry of Normans, sometimes has trouble not being bigoted against Jews. As one of the major themes of the book is bigotry, such things are not surprising.
  • Nobody Calls Me "Chicken"!: How Wilfred goads Bois-Guilbert into dueling him in the third volume.
  • Now, Let Me Carry You: Rebecca nurses Wilfred back to health. Later he comes to save her from being burned as a witch.
  • Obliviously Evil: Bois-Guilbert so thoroughly buries himself under the tropes of Never My Fault and Playing the Victim Card that he honestly doesn't seem to understand that what he does to Rebecca makes him a villain, not her Knight in Shining Armor.
  • Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Rebecca of York is described as having "Bright eyes, black locks, and a skin like paper, ere the priest stains it with his black unguent."
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: As the Palmer, Ivanhoe somehow manages to sneak back into his own home, where absolutely nobody recognizes him until he finally identifies himself to Gurth.
  • People of Hair Color: Although Scotts assertion of a lingering racial animosity between Normans and Saxons was not absolutely without basis (there was in Henry II's time a Saxon noble called "William with the Beard" who refused to shave as a protest against the Conquest), there can be absolutely no doubt that such feelings were highly eccentric, uncommon, and of no practical social or political importance by the reign of Richard I.
  • Perverse Sexual Lust: William Makepeace Thackeray was in love with Rebecca.
    "... ever since I grew to love Rebecca, that sweetest creature of the poet's fancy, and longed to see her righted."
    Excerpt from Rebecca and Rowena
  • Pinball Protagonist: One of Scott's calling cards is the passive protagonist, who often spends most of the novel being carted around by the Action Hero. Ivanhoe is one of the best-known examples, and famously spends a battle sequence flat on his back in a tower, unable to see anything that's going on.
  • Playing the Victim Card: After Rebecca has been sentenced to death, Bois-Guilbert sees himself as the injured party because the girl still refuses to love him. Sure, it's his fault she's in this mess in the first place, but he would save her if she would just agree to reward him.
  • Prince Charming Wannabe: Bois-Guilbert just can't seem to wrap his head around the fact that "Marry me, and I'll save your life; refuse, and I'll let you die" is something villains, not heroes, do.
  • Public Domain Character: Robin Hood. Scott was not the first, by any means, but he is probably the most influential author in linking the outlaw's legend with Richard The Lion Heart and Prince John; more original with Scott was the linking of the legend with a supposed racial animosity between the Normans and the Saxons. Scott also popularised the name "Locksley" as associated with the outlaw.
  • Purple Prose: As an example, Ulricas parting Take That to Front-de-Buf:
    Farewell, Front-de-Buf! May Mista, Skogula, and Zernebock, gods of the ancient Saxons — fiends as the priests now call them supply the place of comforters at your dying bed, which Ulrica now relinquishes! But know, if it will give thee comfort to know it, that Ulrica is bound to the same dark coast with thyself, the companion of thy punishment as the companion of thy guilt. And now, parricide, farewell for ever! May each stone of this vaulted roof find a tongue to echo that title into thine ear!
  • Reality Is Unrealistic: The almost impossibly noble Rebecca is said to be the only character based directly one of Scott's contemporaries — a friend of Scott's friend Washington Irving — a Jewish lady from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, named Rebecca Gratz.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Rebecca constantly tries to acquaint Brian de Bois-Guilbert with how wrong he is about his actions and motivations regarding his treatment of her, to no success.
  • Retcon: Sir Walter invented a role for Robin Hood against Prince John in Richard The Lion Heart's absence to plug some holes in his plot.
  • Rightful King Returns: "Take heed to yourself, for the Devil is unchained!"
  • Rhymes on a Dime: The novel includes a number of poems and "songs" recited or sung by the characters.
  • Richard the Lionheart: A major character.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge / Roaring Rampage of Rescue: The storming of Front de Boefs castle. Probably quite a few readers were pleased with that one.
    In that war-cry is the downfall of thy house. The blood-cemented fabric of Front-de-Boeuf's power totters to the foundation, and before the foes he most despised! The Saxon, Reginald! The scorned Saxon assails thy walls! Why liest here, when the Saxon assails thy place of strength?
  • Royal Brat: Prince John, who is constantly referred to as petty and spoiled, is an unusual adult version of this trope.
  • Scarpia Ultimatum: Two:
    • Maurice de Bracy to Rowena: "Marry me, or I'll kill your guardian and your boyfriend." (This is over in the same chapter it appears in.)
    • Brian de Bois-Guilbert to Rebecca: "Marry me, or at least have sex with me, or I'll let them kill you." (This lasts until Bois-Guilbert's death.)
  • Screw This -- I'm Outta Here: Maurice de Bracy's reaction to King Richard's return.
  • Secondary Character Title: Wilfred of Ivanhoe is physically present only for about 25% of the book and unconscious or incapacitated for half of that.
  • Servile Snarker: Wamba — it's probably in his job description as a jester.
  • Shout-Out to Shakespeare: Shylock from The Merchant of Venice lurks just behind Scott's Isaac, who is partly a subversion of the figure. Lampshaded by Scott in one of the epigraphs.
  • Shown Their Work: Scott appended notes to later editions, justifying some of the historical assertions he made, or at least showing what historical incidents had suggested them.
  • Splitting the Arrow: Robin Hood does this. Although not the originator of this trope, it is a Trope Codifier.
  • You Can Barely Stand: Wilfred of Ivanhoe meets Sir Brian de Bois-Guilbert as challenger in a trial by combat despite barely having recovered of his wounds from the tournament.
  • You Got Spunk: Brian de Bois-Guilbert's opinion of Rebecca's attempted suicide to escape him.

     Tropes Present in the 1952 Movie 

  • Big Damn Heroes: Richard shows up at the very end to do this.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Ivanhoe has no compunctions about sneaking up behind people and stabbing them in the back, or hiding in dark corners and popping out to stab them in the back.
  • Combat Commentator: The knights briefly do this during the joust.
  • Good Weapon, Evil Weapon:
    • Unusually, Ivanhoe uses a dagger (usually the weapon of a villain) in his duels, often locking swords with his opponent and then pushing up close to them in order to stab them.
    • Played with during the final duel, where Bois-Guilbert uses a mace and chain—a nicely evil weapon—but Ivanhoe uses an axe. This is to drive home that he's not Rebecca's Knight in Shining Armor.
  • Flynning: Oh, yes. At several points you can see one combatant just holding his sword up while the other hits it repeatedly.
  • Hero Secret Service: Especially evident in the message-arrow scene.
  • Historical Hero Upgrade: Also present in this adaptation, although it's played with differently. Ivanhoe staunchly supports Richard, because he's Richard's friend; almost all the other characters point out that there's very little to choose between Richard and John. Ivanhoe builds support for Richard by promising a civil rights movement.
  • Kangaroo Court: One of the witnesses against Rebecca starts crying and admits that she was forced to testify.
  • Leitmotif: The swaggering, menacing Norman theme.
  • Oh Crap!: Prince John when Richard shows up.
  • Scars Are Forever: As a result of the childhood blood oath, Rowena and Wilfred have matching small scars on their hands.
  • Spiritual Successor: Received quite a few: King Richard And The Crusaders, the television series The Adventures of Robin Hood and Richard the Lionheart, the 1970 miniseries of Ivanhoe, The Men Of Sherwood Forest and the Roger Moore Ivanhoe series.

    Tropes Present in the 1975 TV Adaptation 
  • Adaptational Wimp: Front-de-Boeuf to the point that he needs assistance in the Ashby tournament, wants to return to France the moment he hears Richard is returning to England and doesn't even participate in the battle of Torquilstone.
  • Composite Character: Front-de-Boeuf is combined with Fitzurse. Until his name is given as Front-de-Boeuf would would think he was Fitzurse.
  • Spared By Adaptation: Bois-Guilbert; it is rather ambiguous with Front-de-Boeuf on the other hand. The last we see of the latter is Ulrica holding a torch before him. Later, Bois-Guilbert tells Prince John that Torquilstone has been captured and Front-de-Boeuf has gone missing.
  • Spiritual Successor: To API's previous The Legend Of Robin Hood. One can't help but think if the animation style used in "The Legend of Robin Hood" had been used in this then there would be less characters with black hair.

    Tropes Present in the 1982 TV Adaptation 
  • Adaptational Heroism: Sir Brian in this version did not die "a victim to the violence of his own contending passions", but rather died heroically. Though he could easily have defeated Ivanhoe, who was fighting as Rebecca's champion, he let himself be struck down for Rebecca's sake.
  • All Love Is Unrequited: A mixed example: While Ivanhoe does love and marry Rowena in this version, he kisses Rebecca and shows a large amount of romantic affection for her, believing that he could wed and love her if only she were not a Jewess. The show even ends with Ivanhoe lamenting what could have been.

     Tropes Present in the 1997 Miniseries 
  • Adaptation Expansion: The longer running time gives more space for characters to be fleshed out.
  • Adaptational Heroism: Bois-Guilbert starts out merely lusting after Rebecca, but grows to appreciate her intelligence and spirit; by the end he's genuinely in love with her, tries to help her escape the night before her execution, and allows Ivanhoe to kill him during their duel so she can live.
  • Age Lift: Reginald Fitzurse was born in 1145 and marrying age for men at that time was seventeen thus Waldemar has to be thirty-two at the oldest. Waldemar is played by Ronald Pickup who was fifty-seven at the time, though really Waldemar has never been played by a man in his thirties.
  • Animal Motifs: Prince John is identified with a falcon.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Robin and the outlaws arrive at Templestowe in order to ensure Rebecca and Ivanhoe's safety.
  • Canon Foreigner: An extremely strange case: Little John. Yes, he's a famous member of Robin Hood's band of merry men, but he's not in the novel (he's mentioned once, but only in the capacity of Robin telling the others that he's somewhere else entirely). Yet in this particular adaptation he's given a large part to play.
  • Chess Motifs: Prince John and his retainer share exposition over a game of chess.
  • Historical Hero Upgrade: Somewhat played with, as is the Historical Villain Upgrade. Near the end of the series Eleanor of Aquitaine confronts both her sons and chews out not only John, but Richard as well. If anything she's more annoyed with the latter, since he's spent all but three or four months of his reign in the Holy Lands and has near bankrupted England to pay for his wars - leaving John to do the unpleasant but necessary task of raising the money for the aforesaid wars and his ransom, as well as keeping the country running. As she points out, 'John may be a miserable little runt, but at least he's been here!'
  • Meaningful Echo: When Bois-Guilbert is about to rape Rebecca, she tells him that "Reason is a gift from God to civilized men; it has no place in this room." When Rebecca is on trial, Bois-Guilbert repeats this word-for-word to Beaumanoir.
  • Oh Crap!: How Prince John reacts when de Bracy warns him that Richard is back.
  • Pet the Dog: Little John defending Rebecca from a random lech at the tournament; and later, helping Gurth carry the injured Fangs.
    • Prince John does actually seem to be somewhat sympathetic towards Rebecca during her trial; he mocks a lot of the evidence and knows it's pretty much a sham, but there's not a lot he can do about it.
      • In fact, all the villains get at least one Pet the Dog moment save for Lucas de Beaumanoir, who is even worse than in the novel.
  • Sanity Ball: John, Fitzurse, and Bois-Guilbert juggle it.
  • The Resenter: John is very aware that few people like him.
  • Xenafication: One gets the sense that the attempt was made to do this with Rowena before someone came to their senses. She is portrayed as much more fiesty and spirited than her book counterpart, and at one point she wields a sword in her own defence - only for the need to use it to never truly arise.


http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Literature/Ivanhoe?from=Series.Ivanhoe