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WMG / Monty Python and the Holy Grail

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As this is Wild Mass Guessing for Monty Python and the Holy Grail, beware of blatant, unmarked spoilersnote .

The movie is the origin of the modern iteration of the Black Knight.
Yes, black knights were used earlier to denote knights engaging in sneaky, dishonorable behavior. But as a legendary, likely supernatural threat? Before the movie, it didn't exist. Monty Python took the legend of the Green Knight, painted it black and made a spoof. A generation looked at that, and went "Surely there was an original legend that this is making fun of, right? Okay, my story has a super-serious Black Knight, played straight." And the Black Knight came to life in our dreams.
  • Fridge Brilliance: Monty Python's Black Knight literally kills (a) Green Knight, just like he killed the legend of the Green Knight and replaced it with the Black Knight.

The Black Knight will become the Green Knight
After his fateful fight with King Arthur, the Black Knight eventually regrows his limbs and, because his attire is ruined, steals the former Green Knight's stuff and will later encounter Sir Gawain.

The duck is the witch.
As noted, the witch has the ability to transform people into animals (even if they get better); she transformed herself into a duck and got the woman accused to throw the townspeople off her trail.

The events of Holy Grail take place in the present.
Camelot is only a model, because it is the result of a Society For Creative Anachronism Stew group re-enacting the Arthurian legends, but getting drunk and singing show tunes about SPAM and Clark Gable instead. The historian really is a modern historian, and the main characters are arrested at the end for killing him because they really are just a bunch of wandering lunatics. The French castle was a group that was going to re-enact some famous battle but decided to mess with the Arthurian drunkards for not showing up. The anarcho-synidicast commune was Exactly What It Says on the Tin, and the monster was merely a mass hallucination that one of the "knights" goaded the others into believing in. When one of them shouted "the monster's animator died!", everyone accepted that explanation.
  • "I told 'em we've already got one!"
  • everybody giggles*
  • Alternatively, the whole movie is the filming of a massive Live Action Role Playing game that got out of control (i.e. killing bystanders), and was eventually stopped by the police.
  • The French Knights were there to re-enact a famous battle, but showed up early and taunted the Arthurian Drunkards while waiting. At the end, everyone else taking part in the re-enactment shows up, which is why Arthur suddenly has an enormous army that never appeared at any other point in the film. Their arrival was total coincidence, but in Arthur's delusional state he just assumed they were working for him. The police then show up to arrest them for unwittingly trespassing.

The events of Holy Grail take place shortly before Game of Thrones
Let's see... Both works are set in a medieval setting with royalty, knights, and commoners. For all we know, Holy Grail could've been the last little fun thing that happened in Westeros before things got worse and the War of the Seven Kingdoms started.

The events of Holy Grail take place in the world of Christopher Stasheff's Wizard in Rhyme.
The knights do not encounter a French castle in the middle of Britain, they wander across where the English Channel isn't. Castle Anthrax is really a castle full of brainwashed seductresses, and the Historian and at least the founder of the Police Department and Detective whatever (and possibly Dennis) are from our world. The reason they refer to Britain and France instead of Brittania and Merovence is because the Translation Convention worked differently for viewers back then.

The events of Holy Grail is actually a stealth parody of The Seventh Seal.

The Monks. The witch-burning. The Dance of Death. Castle Anthrax! If you line them all up, they're just stupendously silly revisions of major scenes in The Seventh Seal.

  • The opening credits are "borrowed" directly from Bergman, and the directors even say that much of the atmosphere was inspired by Bergman as well.
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  • The original theatrical trailer (featured on many DVD releases) mentions The Seventh Seal and features parodic footage.

The swallows are behind everything.
  • African or European?
  • This site that velocity of a Euopean swallow = 20 mph.
  • But what is the velocity of the African swallow?
    • Nobody knows the velocity of the African Swallow. The African Swallow's chief weapon is ignorance and fear. Its two chief weapons are ignorance, fear and a fanatical devotion to the Pope. Its three chief weapons...
      • Does that mean African Swallows are really Cardinals in disguise? Or the other way round?

The animator somehow offended Lord Kira.
Seriously, he dies of a sudden inexplicable heart-attack!

Holy Grail takes place in the same universe as 8-Bit Theater.
...and Sir Lancelot is Fighter.

The Black Knight is a Wolverine-type fighter that has been depowered.
Or, alternatively he still has his regenerating power, it just hasn't kicked in yet/takes a while.

Arthur and his knights are riding Thestrals.
Would have to be very, very short ones, their feet are visibly on the ground.
  • Shetland Thestrals!
    • Say that ten times fast, and you get one of your very own.

People are tossed off the bridge, not for not knowing things but for not being confident.
The three questions are asked to test confidence, the first one being confidence in who you are, the second in what you're doing and a third question to test people's reaction when they're thrown a curveball. Lancelot gives a clear and confident answer to his question and is allowed to pass. Robin was confused and lost control and was thus tossed off. Galahad originally gave the same answer as Lancelot before changing his mind, which causes him to be tossed off. Arthur is so confident that he's able to get the bridgekeeper thrown off, clearing the way for Bedevere. Therefore, one's favorite color, the capital of Assyria and the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow don't actually matter, one can give any answer and pass as long as they're confident that it's the right one.
  • Alternately, you are tossed off the bridge if you say any homophone of 'no'. Robin was tossed off when he said "I don't know that", Galahad said "Blue, no yell-OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOW", and the Bridgekeeper repeated Robin's line.

The Bridgekeeper tells his riddles in a clear pattern.
To pass the test, one only had to be fortunate enough to be an odd number (yes, perhaps literally).I mean think about it. Let's list the questions:
  • Name?
  • Quest?
  • Favourite Colour?
  • Name?
  • Quest?
  • Heavy Arse Question!
  • Name?
  • Quest?
  • Favourite Colour?
  • Name?
  • Quest?
  • Heavy Arse Question!

Being thrown off the bridge isn't as bad as you might think.
Remember that in the Castle Anthrax scene, "peril" is the movie's code word for sex. If you get thrown off the bridge, you wind up in the Gorge of Eternal Peril, so....

The Enchanter's real name is not Tim.
King Arthur asks him, "By what name are you known?" not "What is your name?" The Enchanter replies, "There are some who call me Tim." Tim is just what some people call him, not his actual name. The Enchanter either has a really long and bizarre name, or he doesn't have a name at all.
  • Well, what do you think the trope called Some Call Me "Tim" is about?
  • His real name is Myrddin of course, but people have trouble pronouncing (let alone spelling) it, and so they call him Tim instead.
    • Or maybe he decided to call himself Tim because the French Knights mocked him for having a name that sounds like 'merde'.
  • His name could actually be Timothy, but there are some who call him Tim. Most people do, actually, except his mother.

The Castle Anthrax really is bad.
They're vampires. Or Harpies. Or Sirens. They'll torment Galahad or eat his flesh or whatever - they just want to get him out of his armor and away from his weapons first. Lancelot knew their true nature, and saved Galahad right in time. He was also horrible at explaining this.

The horse riding Knight is the main villain (who only appears once.
Think about it, of all the characters in the film he's the only one with a real horse and he successfully framed Arthur and his knights for murder (I also suspect he's the master of the Black Knight, to whom he also gave regenerative abilities.)
  • It's possible that the knight in question was one of the French, who already guessing that they'd face them again decided to kill the Historian and pin the blame on Arthur.

Patsy isn't his name — it's his job title.
So it is with all the other knights' attendants/steeds. At least Lancelot, despite his Berserker-ness, was kind enough to give his Patsy an actual name.

This is how the Quest for the Holy Grail actually went.
After all, Terry Jones is an Arthurian scholar; he'd know how the real story went. And it really explains why everything is so screwed up, doesn't it?

Arthur and his knights are LARPing.
So are the French, the Black Knight, and all the others (next to the historian and the police). They all take this a bit too seriously.

Tim is not a real enchanter, but a very good pyrotechnician.

The only "magic" Tim is ever seen performing consists of setting off large bursts of flame. In actuality he was a really good pyrotechnician until one day he was working on a movie that required a gigantic explosion. Said blast tore a hole in the space-time continuum and brought Tim back to the middle ages. He showed off his tricks of fire, everyone mistook it for "magic" and he just decided to run with it. The movie in question was about the story of King Arthur, which is how Tim recognized him when he saw him in the past.

The characters went completely around in a circle.
...Which is why they met up with the French they met earlier in the film: They just went on the other side of the castle they reside.
  • Last time I checked, the first castle the French appeared at didn't have a moat.
    • Could have been a castle not far on the other side of the first.

Sir Not-Appearing-In-This-Film is Mordred
  • His picture is a baby because he is Arthur's baby. He didn't appear because he was left behind to guard Arthur's throne while Arthur was away. He hired the knight who killed the historian in order to frame Arthur and take the throne for himself.

The French are not actually French
What with their outrageous accents, inability to actually speak the language, and inhabiting England, this should be obvious. Clearly, they're all insane/trolling Englishmen.
  • They do have a hurried conversation in French (the line "Fetchez la vache," or "Fetch the cow," is spoken).

Swamp King is Vortigern
He was building a castle that kept collapsing, just like Vortigern and his fortress.

There is more than one evil rabbit of Caerbanog, or several half evil rabbits roaming the Scottish countryside.
Given the rate at which rabbits reproduce, regardless of the Evil Rabbit of Caerbannog's gender, it should have lots of offspring, each of whom could have inherited it's temperament. Assuming there are other rabbits in the area, it could mate and reproduce...
  • Maybe there should be a Nightmare fuel or fridge logic page for that.

The king of Swamp Castle is Dennis from Jabberwocky

Both movies seem to take place in the same world, and both characters are played by Michael Pailin.

Dennis's attitude at the end of "Jabberwocky," when he is forced against his will to marry a princess instead of the woman he "loves," is the reason for his cynical attitude as the Swamp King when ordering his son Herbert to accept the same fate. He tries to do right by his son by at least selecting a princess who is "beautiful," which, to Dennis/Swamp King, means a heavy-set girl similar to Griselda. Note also that Prince Herbert takes after his mother, the princess from "Jabberwocky," from the blond hair to the delusional obsession with being rescued from a tower by a prince.

The fact that Prince Herbert reminds Dennis so much of the princess he never wanted to marry is a large part of why he is so emotionally abusive to Herbert; another reason is, that's how Dennis's father treated him in "Jabberwocky," so as far as Dennis knows, that's how fathers are supposed to be.

Also, note that when the Swamp King tells his son how he built Swamp Castle, he doesn't say, "my father said it was daft to build a castle in the swamp," he says, "the king said it was daft to build a castle in the Swamp." The "king" in question is not Swamp King's father, but the king from "Jabberwocky," who made him marry his daughter and gave him half his kingdom. Dennis doesn't inherit the whole kingdom, only half. In other words, Dennis's kingdom is a brand new nation, that presumably needs a new castle. It is after Dennis's marriage to the princess, when he and the king are working out Dennis's new kingdom, when they have their disagreement on Dennis's decision to build a castle in the swamp.

Prince Herbert's fiancé isn't actually named "Princess Lucky"
The king of Swamp Castle is constantly getting his own son's name wrong, so it's not far-fetched to assume that he's overall not too good with names. It's likely that the princess's name is Lucy, and the king either mixes it up with the common dog name Lucky, or he was informed of the princess's name in writing and read "Lucy" as "Lucky" (it wouldn't be far-fetched for the absent-minded king to be illiterate either, especially in the Middle Ages).

The woman was actually a witch
Clearly, real-world logic isn't applicable to the Python-verse, so maybe Bedevere's Insane Troll Logic is actually correct, and witches are made of wood and weigh the same as ducks. The woman does seem to be the same weight as the duck, so perhaps she is in fact a witch.

The French already owned Castle Aaaaaaaargh.
The knights just happened to go in a complete circle, putting them behind the French's castle.

Castle Anthrax is really an overly-dramatic brothel and sanctuary from the restrictions of the era

The middle ages wasn't exactly a great time to be sexually promiscuous. It was after all an era in which the Church enforced very strict rules about how people were to behave, which included heteronormative ideas that banned premarital sex. Naturally, it wouldn't be a great time to run a brothel either, for the same reasons.

The women who run Castle Anthrax are all non-conformists to Medieval Society, especially in their sexual promiscuity (female sexuality being something that people at the time liked to think didn't exist). By hiding in a relatively isolated castle, they can escape the restrictive social conventions of Medieval Society and act as they wish. They intentionally called it "Anthrax" to avoid unwanted attention, expecting that clergymen and others who would object to their sexual activities would mistake it for a plague colony and ignore it.

The Castle of Aaaaaargh used to belong to Aaarrrggghhh!

Gunmar gave Aaarrrggghhh the castle as a reward for his service during his war against humanity and the good trolls, but he would later give it up as part of his atonement. The French took it over after it was abandoned.

The area around the Cave of Caerbannog has an Anti-Magic field.

Tim didn't bother trying to blow the Rabbit up with magic because he'd tried that in a previous encounter, and he regarded the knights' attack as futile because he'd seen it slaughter people in melee during the same fight. However, he'd never heard of chemical explosives. This is also why the Rabbit doesn't chase after the running-away knights, as it would risk exposure to a magic attack.

Tim's description of the Caerbannog carving is filtered through Gossip Evolution.

He describes it as "carved in mystic runes... the last words of Olfin Bedwere of Rheged," but the knights instead find the last words of Joseph of Arimathea, carved in ordinary (though foreign) Aramaic. Yet he got the central message correct.

The Old Man from Scene 24's line that "no man has entered" the cave could mean just that, or that the message got out through divine revelation, or that no one's entered it in so long that it seems like no one ever has, but in any case, though Tim knows where the cave is, he himself can't enter because of the Killer Rabbit and he's never spoken directly to anyone who has. All he has to rely on is a rumor stating that the cave contains knowledge about the Holy Grail, in a script that is (for Dark Age Britain) arcane and could seem "mystic," with its attribution garbled.

The entire premise of the movie is a Dungeons & Dragons session gone wrong.
Which could explain a lot of the absurdities of the film:
  • Arthur's player made a decent build but couldn't afford a horse, so he just bought a coconut with his remaining gold and had his squire knock them together.
  • The DM had an unfortunate habit of narrating a bit too much which contributes the "GET ON WITH IT!" scene halfway through.
    • The Famous Historian's death was caused due to this, when one of the players got tired of the DM's monologue and randomly rolled to "slice that talkative git's head off" and got a natural 20, to the chagrin of the DM.
  • Lancelot's character is a Blood Knight who often butts heads with the DM when the latter goes off on his tangents, and prefers straightforward fights rather than scenarios that require subtlety or storytelling.
    • ...which is one of the reasons he interrupted Galahad's "encounter" with the occupants at Castle Anthrax, explaining his sudden appearance and "rescue" of Galahad since he and the DM were getting a little...too involved with the story. The fact that the rescue was successful was because the rest of the players agreed with Lancelot's sentiments.
    • His assault of Swamp Castle was supposed to be more of a courtly intrigue level with a surprise twist, and was supposed to require Lancelot to use his wits to infiltrate and rescue the "princess." Obviously, Lancelot just straight-up attacked the castle, further frustrating the DM.
    • Finally, his "arrest" was caused by him and the DM's disagreements coming to a head, and Lancelot left the game session in frustration. The DM, himself coming to his wit's end, made up some footnote about getting arrested and everyone else just went with it because they were just as tired of the session.
  • The Killer Rabbit incident as caused by accident; the players were just messing around and when Tim jokingly played a nearby rabbit up as the "guardian" of the cave, one of the players rolled initiative, and to everyone's surprise, the rabbit kept getting high rolls and almost destroyed the party.
  • Sir Robin was supposed to be a fighter who could handle himself in combat, but his player was inexperienced and kept panicking every time he took damage worrying that he was about to get killed. The DM eventually gets frustrated with this and gets back at the player by throwing a player a curveball at the bridge of death, right after making it look easy to pass.
  • The Black Beast of Aaaaaaarrrgh was supposed to be a dramatic boss fight, but the players kept insisting on running away instead of fighting it. The DM desperately tries to get the fight going by trapping them in the cave and having the monster chase them but they just keep running. Finally the DM gives up and just makes up an excuse for why the monster's no longer chasing them.
  • And of course, the end was caused by the DM, running out of ideas and patience, throwing his hands in the air, and just saying, "Right then. Cops arrive, everyone's arrested, game over."
  • Or Dungeon Master wanted to make a medieval fantasy game, but all players created modern out of setting characters: Frank the Historican, two movie production workers, two policemen and a detective. Death of Frank was caused by one NPC, when DM got tired of players' uninvolvement in a medieval fantasy world and metagaming of Frank's player character.

The knights who say Ni are an omen of death.
  • Them shouting weird words at people is there way of marking mortals.
The events of Holy Grail take place in a world similar to Earth.
  • The events of Holy Grail take place in a world when modern and medieval level societies exist simultaneously, similar like in real life stone age society exist in North Sentinel Island. Both societies may be aware of the presence of each other, but medieval level one refuses to progress, because of traditions and because they use magic.
  • Frank the Historican was just narrating another similar story.
  • Death of Frank the Historican was caused when he simply entered the territory of that medieval level society, which was marked by ruins of a castle.
  • All those monsters, weird creatures and "God" are just inhabitants of that planet.


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