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The Middle Ages

This is the Fourteenth Century?

Era of the crusades, Robin Hood, and fat, lecherous (but good-hearted) friars. Also home to dragons, wizards, knights in shining armour, beautiful princesses with big headdresses and tall, spirally gothic architecture. Expect to see a Corrupt Churchman or two wandering the landscape burning witches, heretics, and pretty much anyone who doesn't agree with them. Also expect to see people comically dropping left and right from the Black Death. ("Bring out your deeeeaaaaa——" *Fall* *Splut!*)

If the story does not take place in some unspecified kingdom, the setting is likely to be a mythologized Britain or France, though Jerusalem, which had pretty much been ignored since Biblical Times will now also be used as the stage for all sorts of flashy battles involving cutlass-wielding Turks and ruggedly handsome Knights Templar.

It should be noted that though the Middle Ages lasted for roughly a thousand years, virtually all of the classic medieval tropes mentioned above really only derive from the last three or four hundred. Overall, the Middle Ages has suffered more than usual cliche-making tendencies, because it was unfortuanately cast as the embodiment of Romanticism in the Romanticism Versus Enlightenment (with Ancient Greece suffering the opposite fate as its foil).

For the (slightly) more historically accurate version of this trope, check out its constituent periods:

Cf. Ye Goode Olde Days for the highly romanticized version, and The Dung Ages for the depressingly bleak version. When history has been abandoned altogether, you have probably made the epic voyage to The Time of Myths. Also check out Dark Age Europe, the transition between the Ancient World (Greece, Rome, etc.) and the Middle Ages proper.

Popular tropes associated with this time period are:

Works set in this time period include:

Comic Books

Films — Animation

Films — Live-Action

  • Doomsday Book
  • Michel Pagel Le roi d'août (The King of August), a novelized version of the life of Philip II Augustus with fantastical elements (dryads especially). Quite historically accurate (except for the obvious Fantasy).
  • Wolfbreed takes place during this time period and deals with The Teutonic Knights' conquest of Prussia...and werewolves.
  • Catherine Called Birdy and The Midwife's Apprentice, both by Karen Cushman.

Live-Action TV

Tabletop Games

Video Games

Web Comics

Western Animation

Alternative Title(s): Middle Ages