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YMMV: Ivanhoe

The novel

  • Alas, Poor Scrappy: Averted, because Sir Walter Scott was begged by a personal friend (against his own original intention) to bring the beef-witted Athelstane back from the dead.
  • Die for Our Ship: Rowena. William Makepeace Thackeray's highly inaccurate description says it all:
    "And must the Disinherited Knight ... sit down contented for life by the side of such a frigid piece of propriety as that icy, faultless, prim, niminy-piminy Rowena?"
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Brian de Bois-Guilbert is disturbingly popular, to the point of being painted as a Love Redeems Heel Face Turner... despite kidnapping Rebecca after trying to rape her.
  • Fair for Its Day: Isaac of York, though a stereotypical Greedy Jew, is nevertheless depicted as grateful toward Ivanhoe and his adherents, and devoted to his daughter — while Rebecca is downright saintly.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: As Richard Armour put it, "Honestly, how could Ivanhoe have picked that Dumb Blonde, Rowena, over Rebecca?"
    Sir Walter Scott, in his 1830 Introduction recounted: "The character of the fair Jewess found so much favour in the eyes of some fair readers, that the writer was censured, because, when arranging the fates of the characters of the drama, he had not assigned the hand of Wilfred to Rebecca, rather than the less interesting Rowena."
  • It Was His Sled: Today's readers aren't going to be fooled for a second when the mysterious Forest Ranger gives his name as "Locksley". However, Scott's readers would have been kept in the dark, considering Scott was the first author to link Robin Hood's name with the word "Locksley".
  • Nightmare Fuel: Front-de-Buf's threatened Cold-Blooded Torture of Isaac, his deathbed scene with Ulrica, and their subsequent burning alive, have been known to have this effect on readers.
  • Older Than They Think: Scott is sometimes credited with having transferred Robin Hood to the time of Richard The Lion Heart — but in reality he was adopting a tradition that dated back to Scottish historian John Major in early Tudor times and was firmly held by Joseph Ritson, the author of the most influential study of the Robin Hood legend in Scott's own time.
  • They Just Didn't Care: Though Scott contrasts his attitude with that of his friend Mat Lewis (who said, "could he have derived ... advantage from making his heroine blue, blue she should have been"), he does lay claim to enough artistic licence to include whatever details seem colourful and probable, especially as most of his readers wouldnt care anyway.
  • The Woobie: Various characters at various points in the novel — but Isaac fulfils this rle fairly consistently.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not For Kids?: Odd, that a novel written is such Purple Prose, dealing with dead-and-gone historical figures, with themes of racial and religious hatred, having such extremely disturbing scenes as the Attempted Rape of Rebecca, the threatened Cold-Blooded Torture of Isaac, and the immolations of the parricide Front-de-Buf and his treacherous cast-off mistress Ulrica should have been wildly popular for well over a century with children.
    • Not at all. Kids knows what makes a good story. It's just that it worries some adults.

The 1952 film

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