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Web Video / Knight Squire

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Knight Squire is the YouTube channel of British historical martial arts enthusiast and jokester extraordinaire Joel Sutherland. Largelly a channel for shorter informative videos on his aforementioned hobby, and criticquing its inaccurate and odd depictions in popculture. He's developed something of a humble cult following among YT channels that focus on HEMA and related historical topics.

The channel can be found here.


Tropes seen in Knight Squire videos:

  • Hollywood Tactics: Mercilessly but amusingly skewered in the "What John Shoulda Done" video, which examines the many, many dumb tactical moves and decisions of Jon Snow and his allies during the "Battle of the Bastards" late in season 6 of Game of Thrones.
  • Know Nothing Knowitall: The recurring character of "Ninja Eugene" is a parody of munchkins who are obsessed with historical swordfighting, samurai and ninjas, but barely know anything about the topic at hand.
  • Shown Their Work: Even though his videos tend towards the jokey and amusing, he also focuses on them being informational, based on his own HEMA studies and experience, and on common sense.
  • Weapons and Wielding Tropes: What Joel, similar to other YouTube Historical European Martial Arts enthusiasts, likes to examine in plenty of his videos.


A short film produced by Knight Squire and his family in spring 2020, after coming back from a longer hiatus of not making any new videos. It's the first episode in what seems like an idea for a short web series. Set in the walled fantasy city of "Indoorsia", isolated from the world after a great plague that had returned after a century, a lone drifter arrives at the city and gets entangled in the mystery of the stolen rolls of privy paper.

  • Affectionate Parody: Of a whole slew of Medieval European Fantasy fiction clichés. It also takes plenty of jabs at some people's less-than-stellar reactions to the pandemic, such as mindlessly hoarding supplies of toilet paper.
  • All Beer Is Ale: Guy orders an ale from the barmaid after arriving at The Broken Toaster.
  • Badass Normal: Main character Guy is a former "Watcher of the Wall". Aside from being skilled at swordfighting, his original job meant he had to guard the mighty walls of Indoorsia by staring at them.
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  • Bar Brawl: Parodied with the bar brawl provoked by the gnome who doesn't like a Watcher like Guy staying at the tavern. It even has Adventurous Irish Violins as the background music.
  • Deconstructive Parody: The short highlights how certain popular fantasy clichés (e.g. sword scabbards worn on the back) would be rather inconvenient in situations that require genuine practicality.
  • The Drifter: Parodied with Guy of the Living Room, a now-wandering former Watcher.
  • Economy Cast: The entire cast consists of Joel (Knight Squire), his wife and their child playing various different characters, including all of the locals at the tavern. Joel plays both the main character and the character's wise mentor.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": Subverted and parodied with "Guy of the Living Room". (Guy is a real name, as well as a generic term for a man, a stranger.)
  • Fantastic Racism: The gnome at The Broken Toaster Tavern doesn't like seeing Watchers visiting local drinking establishments.
  • Flynning: Ironically enough, averted. Though the swordfighting is exaggerated in some sillier scenes since it's a spoof, Joel's not just flailing a sword around. He's regularly attended HEMA lessons for several years and knows a good deal about stances, footwork and fluidity. Though only a student of historical swordfighting, he does genuinely know how to hold and use a proper sword.
  • In the Hood: Guy the former Watcher sure likes to stress this as part of his image.
  • Macguffin: The lost rolls of privy paper (toilet paper) drive the plot forward after the events at the tavern. A bit of a pun, as the lost rolls are equated to lost ancient scrolls.
  • The Need for Mead: Parodied with The Broken Toaster Tavern.
  • Our Gnomes Are Weirder: The one gnome we see looks like an adorable child (as he's played by the child of Knight Squire and his wife), speaks in a gruff voice (dubbed by Knight Squire) and loves to start tough bar brawls with far taller strangers he doesn't like.
  • Overly Narrow Superlative: Knight Squire describes the short as "The world's first Medieval Fantasy that's shot entirely in my house."
  • Ripped from the Headlines: This short owes its existence to the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020, with people worldwide being forced into regular lockdowns, often forced to stay home and work from home for prolonged periods. The premise, a fantasy city isolated from a great illness beyond its walls, and certain people hoarding "privy paper" (toilet paper), inconveniencing others who try to struggle on, makes very obvious nods at the events of the pandemic. Also, the "plague" is said to have "returned after a century", which is exactly the amount of time between the Spanish flu and COVID-19 pandemics in the real world.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The opening narration is stylistically similar to that of Arx Fatalis.
    • When Guy enters the tavern and looks around, one character seated at a fancy window and obscured by a hood looks almost exactly like a shot of Aragorn at The Prancing Pony in the film adaptation of The Fellowship of the Ring.
    • The Watchers, of which Guy is a former member, seem like a mashup of Sapkowski's Witchers and Martin's Night Watch.
  • Stylistic Suck: Given the lighthearted approach and the necessity of filming in one's own house, this is omnipresent and very, very intentional. Despite the very rudimentary props and costuming, the way it's filmed, edited and written is really endearing and entertaining.
  • Troperrific: Intentionally so, and rather impressively, given the short runtime (10 minutes, even with the credits and outtakes). The tavern sequence alone gleefully spoofs all manner of fantasy inn clichés.
  • Unorthodox Sheathing: Parodied to the hilt with Guy having a hard time unsheathing his sword, worn in a scabbard on his back, after getting attacked. Yes, sword scabbards worn on the back might look hella cool, but in a practical fight, where quick reactions matter...

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