The Late Middle Ages

Pretty much the entire Fourteenth and Fifteenth Centuries, though in southern Europe this overlaps with The Renaissance. This is the period where chivalry is dying, and Macchiavellian nobles are killing off kings, queens, peasants, and each other with gusto (especially if they happen to be relatives), with recurrences of The Plague generally finishing off any survivors. This is the age of the Dance of Death, The Hundred Years War, the Wars of the Roses, The Spanish Inquisition, the early witchcraft trials, and the vivid paintings of Hieronymus Bosch. It just got as dark and edgy as Dark Age Europe again. Still, a common feature of fictions will be an idealistic character who looks forward to a day when society has left all this mediaeval darkness behind. (This character often is killed.) We can blame most of these attitudes on the Renaissance, and even more on the (so called) Enlightenment when the whole 'people who came before us were really stupid' thing really started up.

The typical clothing will include Nice Hats, often of disturbingly complicated structure, and surprisingly low necklines among the women; among the men, yards and yards of cloth in the sleeves and disturbingly high hemlines (Women's hemlines won't rise up until several centuries later). Both generously include lots of fur and velvet, at least among the nobility — and lots of dirt, at least among the peasants. Splotches of blood are a not infrequent addition for both.

Outside certain aspects of The Renaissance, this is generally not regarded as a happy time — and even that period tends to be darkened by poisoning Popes, manipulating courtesans, and murderous feuds among the noble clans.

Tropes associated with this time period include:

Works set in this time period are:

Anime and Manga



Live-Action TV


Video Games
  • Assassins Creed II
  • Europa Universalis games typically begin in this timeframe. Crusader Kings ends in it.
  • Medieval: Total War and its remake deal with this period (as well as the rest of the middle ages). The late period is characterized by combat with heavily armored units, but also with gunpowder and early cannons - and prompts some factions to begin thinking of crossing the Atlantic Ocean.
  • Some campaigns of Age of Empires II; the "Imperial Age" of in-game development (featuring lots of plate armor and gunpowder weapons, plus a campaign based on CortÚs' conquest of Mexico) corresponds to this era.