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Lindybeige is a YouTube channel operated by Nikolas Lloyd, aka Lindybeige or Lloyd. He uses his experience in filmmaking, history, archaeology, and dance to make videos. The channel focuses on ancient and medieval warfare and technology, and occasionally addresses other subjects such as politics, evolutionary psychology, war gaming, and tabletop gaming. Lloyd often addresses whether certain media tropes are realistic, and tears into inaccurate works with his characteristically sarcastic sense of humor.

In addition to instructive videos, Lindybeige also features full-length videos broken into chunks for easy viewing, including:

  • Built for the Stone Age, a pilot for an edutainment show about evolutionary psychology that didn't make it to television. Features Lloyd and several other actors portraying strange scenes that demonstrate how homo sapiens evolved behavioural patterns that were useful during the overwhelming portion of our existence when we were all hunter-gatherers, and how these traits we've inherited largely unchanged from our ancestors often clash with the very different priorities of our modern lifestyles.
  • The Adventures of Stoke Mandeville, Astronaut and Gentleman, a tongue-in-cheek Deconstructive Parody of steampunk about Victorian Britons in space. Only three episodes have been released thus far, because Lloyd is working on a nonexistent budget and having to do all of the post-production work in his spare time.
  • Doctor Who and the Angels of Herräng, made in association with Channel Awesome, a Doctor Who parody featuring Lloyd as the titular Doctor facing against Weeping Angels as they attempt to invade the Herräng Dance Camp in order to make off with its women.
  • "Q217", a series based on The Book of Questions by Gregory Stockfield, a party-piece book with questions meant to spur philosophical conversation. In each video, Lloyd reads one of the questions and gives his personal answer.

The Lindybeige channel can be viewed here.

Works discussed or reviewed on Lindybeige:

Tropes appearing in Lindybeige works:

  • Arrows on Fire: Addressed in this video, where he discusses why they didn't use fire arrows in open battles despite how it's always shown in movies because it's a silly idea for anything except sieges and naval warfare. All the modifications to the arrow necessary for it to stay burning when it's shot reduce its range and penetrating power, and you can't really set a man on fire through his clothes or armor before he puts it out. They also can't be fired at anywhere near the same rate as regular arrows. In short, they're useless as anti-personnel weapons, and only good for setting buildings and ships on fire.
  • Artistic License – History: He takes apart the inaccuracies of movies such as Braveheart and Black Death, which make huge errors in their depiction of events, geography, chronology, religion, clothing, language, and customs.
  • Audible Sharpness: Discusses in one video how most scabbards were made of wood and leather, which hardly make a sound when the sword is drawn from them, and that you wouldn't want to make a *schwing!* sound whenever you draw your sword because that would mean metal grinding on metal, and give you a dull edge.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: In One-man tank turrets - were they a good idea?, Lloyd looks at how French tanks such as the SOUMA S-35 and Char B1, despite being bigger, better armored, and having bigger guns than the Panzer III they were up against, may have had a tactical disadvantage because they were designed with one-man turrets as opposed to the Germans' three-man turrets. A one-man turret could be advantageous in theory because compared to a three-man turret it presents a smaller target, it can be armored more thickly without making the weight excessive, and there are fewer crew members inside it who could be lost if the turret gets hit. Unfortunately, the commander's cuppola on the APX 1 type turret didn't have a hatch on top, and the view from inside of it wasn't good enough that he could efficiently track the enemy while buttoned down. Therefore, the commander had to climb out the hatch on the back of the turret to look outside whenever he needed to reacquire a target or reestimate the range, and since he was also the loader and gunner, he faced the ergonomic hell of having to keep changing positions while juggling different pieces of his equipment. This also made it hard to give orders to the crew, much less to other tanks if he was also a unit leader. In contrast, the Germans and other countries with three-man turrets could have the commander with his head out the turret hatch visually tracking the enemy while continuously giving orders and range corrections to gunner and loader inside the turret, allowing them to get shots off more quickly and accurately. To be fair, it's impossible to know which was better in the sense that the French tanks never got to fight the German tanks on equal footing, but the superiority of three-man turrets at that time is suggested by how quickly the one-man turret designs disappeared afterwards.
  • The Berserker: A "Berserker" was a sort of elite soldier rather than just anyone who went mad while fighting, and while roaring and biting of shields was done as either an intimidation tactic or a coping mechanism for facing down impending doom, it wasn't done en masse nor does it seem to have been regarded as particularly effective to "go berserk" in battle.
  • Blade Enthusiast: Has made many videos on knives and the use thereof, from various periods. The most glorious is probably the one that's in verse, although it kind of backfired as so many people misunderstood his point that he had to make a 20-minute follow-up video explaining what he meant.
  • Boarding School of Horrors: Lloyd discusses his largely unpleasant experiences at public school in a couple of videos.
  • Boomerang Comeback: Discussed in a video on franciscas. Lloyd posits that one reason they were effective was not that throwing small axes was particularly effective against armored foes, but that when they hit the ground they inevitably bounced in an unpredictable way, potentially breaking the enemy's concentration or hitting them somewhere less protected.
  • Boring, but Practical: A big proponent of using whatever is most reliable and efficient, even if it's not as sexy as the fancy or exotic options.
    • He frequently points out that rocks can be highly effective as thrown weapons, and the ammunition's dirt cheap. Slings do one better, and the ammunition is pebbles.
    • In "Super-recognisers: the future of law enforcement?" he admits that the concept isn't particularly sexy or exciting, but it has the potential to make law enforcement more efficient with fewer false positives.
  • Buxom Beauty Standard: Analyzed from an evolutionary biology perspective in "Why do women have breasts?", where Lloyd briefly looks at the question of why some men find bigger breasts more attractive in the course of a larger effort at puzzling out why women evolved to have breasts at all.
  • Call That a Formation?: One of his biggest pet peeves in movies. If a medieval/ancient battle scene shows people dueling individually rather than fighting in formation, expect him to gripe about it. In reviewing Ironclad he is pleasantly surprised to see the defenders form a shield wall as the enemy is about to break in, only for them to immediately fall into disarray and engage the enemy in a series of duels.
    "When is a fight choreographer going to have the audacity to show people fighting in groups with clear front lines? If people split up into many duels like this the casualties for both sides are going to be horrendous, which is what real people seek to avoid. But filmmakers like to show as many people being butchered as quickly as possible, and so that's what we get. Lots of action, kill off all the minor characters on both sides, so that it all boils down to a face-off between the main hero and main villain."
  • Catchphrase: "This episode is sponsored by _____ but more on that later."
  • The Coconut Effect: He talks about various sound effects such as gun noises that Hollywood does unrealistically because that's what people want to hear.
  • Conveniently an Orphan: In a video devoted to the subject, Lloyd points out that most RPG players roll their characters as orphans, even though this amount of parental devastation is unrealistic. He concludes that it's either laziness from players who don't want to flesh out their characters fully, or a kind of wish-fulfillment of players who want to be independent from their parents.
  • Cool, but Inefficient: He points out that many weapons are cool in theory but not very useful in practice:
    • In Nets - not such a great idea in battle, he says that gladiator nets are single-use, mean you can't hold something in that hand, and would make you vulnerable in any kind of massed battle where you had better be holding a shield.
    • Knife-throwing (and by extension shuriken throwing) may be cool and an impressive skill, but according to his video Throwing knives (again), it's not very efficient and has relatively few applications in combat. First, the ammunition is knives—preferably purpose-made throwing knives—rather than arrows or stones, and may be expensive or inconvenient to procure. Second, the range isn't very good, and they're useless if you can't get them to land pointy-end in. Thirdly, they don't really cause that much damage because their energy transfer isn't very efficient, and killing someone outright with a throwing knife is very unlikely. They can be good weapons of surprise to distract your opponent if you're closing in with your main weapon, or alternately if you're fleeing, but you aren't going to be silently and instantly killing off enemy sentries one by one as you often see in fiction, or get the same use out of them in open combat as you'd get from a bow and arrow, javelins, a sling, or even just throwing rocks.
    • In Cinquedea - Venice's five-fingered dagger of mild doom, he opines that the short, broad blade of the cinquedea is not very good for thrusting, and that while it may have some use as a short but sturdy weapon to parry full-sized swords, he suspects its popularity probably had more to do with fashion and its wide blade being a good canvas for decoration.
  • Crossover: Skallagrim appears via Chroma Key on Lloyd's video about the historical usage of salt, complaining that his subject matter is boring and suggesting he talk about more interesting things such as whether it's possible to stab someone with an arrow. Lloyd grows tired of it and zaps Skall to oblivion with a ray gun. Lloyd returns the favor on one of Skall's later videos.
  • Cultural Posturing: Lloyd is preposterously British and ostentatiously English. While he generally gives all cultures the consideration they deserve based on their historical or local context, it shows most notably in any discussion of longbows or World War 2.
    "If you want to shoot a Frenchman who's not very far away, you might want to clock him with a really big heavy stick. So, you'd just use a simple cylinder of wood for an arrow shaft, and thwack him. But if he's a very long way away, you might select one of your specialist 'shooting Frenchmen who are a long way away' arrows, which would be perhaps barreled, and it's called a flight arrow: arrows designed to go a very long way away."
  • Deadpan Snarker: He regularly makes dry quips about the idiocy of certain fictional tropes.
  • Dual Wielding: There's little advantage to be gained from holding two weapons at once, it doesn't help you attack more effectively or more quickly, and it's almost always better to have a shield in your off-hand because you can use it for defense and also hit people with it.
  • The Dung Ages: Another one of his pet peeves, since it's not at all accurate:
    "Ironclad shows us the familiar Hollywood image of Medieval Times in which all peasants are covered in mud, and everyone wears brown—unless they're baddies, in which case they wear black."
  • Einstein Hair: Lindy possesses both a knowledgeable, professorial aspect and an unkempt mess that's being routed by his forehead.
  • Enhance Button: Has a video on this exact trope and discusses its use in several films. Also points out that it's theoretically possible to enhance a video screenshot using data from other frames, but this isn't yet within the capability of computers. Rapid-Fire Typing is also mentioned.
  • Every Japanese Sword is a Katana: In his second video on Katanas, Lloyd seems to fall into this trap. He comments that katanas from different eras are remarkably similar in size, curvature and weight, apparently not considering that there were many other styles of Japanese sword and katanas were intended for a specific usage.
  • Fake-Hair Drama: His dad's story about "The Man With Realistic Hair".
  • Flynning: In "Great Movie Fighting Techniques as illustrated by "Helen of Troy"", he notes many instances where a blow is hilariously wide of the target, but the guy being attacked makes sure to "dodge" it anyway.
  • Fun with Subtitles: Many videos feature subtitles providing additional context to whatever Lloyd is talking about, but often they poke fun or apologize for his habit of going off-topic at length.
  • Gladiator Games: Gets compared with Professional Wrestling and Professional Boxing in a video about Gladiators:
  • Guttural Growler: Lindy sometimes parodies the kind of TV narration associated with Rated M for Manly action by affecting a ludicrously deep, gravelly, American-accented voice. He does it for the title of each video in his Ironclad review series, the intro of "Super-recognisers: the future of law enforcement?", and in his Churchill tank video with The Chieftain when he says the title of World of Tanks.
  • Heroes Prefer Swords: Lloyd discusses part of the reasoning for this trope: in most of medieval Europe, owning a sword was prohibited for peasants, because it's a weapon designed specifically for killing people, whereas things like spears and bows can be used for hunting. Thus, only individuals of high status would walk around with a sword on their hip.
  • Historical Hero/Villain Upgrade: Discussed in a video on the upcoming In Search of Hannibal graphic novel: because Hannibal is one of the main characters, he has to be characterized in order for the reader to care about whether he wins or loses. This means that Lloyd has to invent his personality, as there is no historical information on what he was actually like.
  • Hollywood Costuming: A frequent peeve of his, as demonstrated in Ironclad: Part Two - costumes, pointing out modern metal rivets and eyelets on supposedly medieval clothing, and obvious use of fiberglass and knitting for helmets and mail armor.
  • Hollywood Silencer: It doesn't go "fwip". In Lloyd's experience, a silencer just about makes a gun quiet enough to not permanently damage the shooter's hearing.
  • Hollywood Tactics: Taken apart in many of his reviews, where he notes suicidal mistakes in siege techniques, battle formations, and strategy. Ironclad: part five - tactics is a fine example, as he criticizes John's artillery placement too far from the walls to do much damage, trying to storm the castle walls with a useless charge across open ground instead of gradually advancing under mantlets and cover, sending men up on scaling ladders while endangering their lives by continuing the catapult barrage on that wall section (something Kenneth Branagh also did in his Henry V), and stopping for a breather under the gate which is the place most exposed to the defenders' fire. The defenders are stupid too, since their best idea to keep the enemy from forcing open the gate is to have just four guys lean against it, which is too little too late against a battering ram when they should have reinforced it with more beams earlier when they had the chance.
  • Hollywood Torches: He has a whole video series called Lindybeige about Torches nitpicking apart the inaccurate ways that movies use fire and torches. They randomly stick torches and braziers on walls and depict them burning even during the daytime, despite the fact that real torches burn out, produce a lot of smoke, are expensive, and by no means a good way of lighting an interior. He even notices a scene in The Last Kingdom where they failed to conceal the gas pipe that was feeding a wall torch.
  • Horny Vikings: Not only were they not horny, the term "viking" is used too loosely and often applied to Scandinavians as a whole. Vikings were specifically raiders, and using the term "Vikings" to refer to any/all Norse of the period is essentially like calling all Europeans of the late 17th-mid 18th century "pirates."
  • Horse Archer: Lindy's video Horse archers - the unbeatable troops? looks at why horse archers, while useful, were not some kind of game-breaking super unit as they are sometimes depicted to be in war games. For one thing, like all cavalry, they're rubbish at holding ground against an enemy attack or storming fortifications; that's something that only infantry can do well. As for counters, they're vulnerable to foot archers. Archers on foot can be packed together into denser formations than horsemen because horses require a lot of space, so their volume of fire can be greater. Horse archers also have a shorter accurate range than the foot archers because they're trying to aim while bouncing around on horseback, and the lightly or unarmored horses they're riding make them a bigger target than men on foot. They're great at harassing and wearing down the enemy, they can scout, they can attack groups of enemies on the march, but they're meant to be used as one part of a balanced army rather than dominating all areas of combat by themselves.
  • Kabuki Sounds: Humorously added to the intro of his video about the katana.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: In The Katana he argues that they're not, and does his best to deflate the hype, though perhaps he goes a little far in the other direction.
    "Katanas are sharpened iron bars with handles on the end, they're for hitting people, get used to it."
  • The Last of These Is Not Like the Others: Played with in a video on archery. "Suppose you fire an arrow, and it lands in a tree, or a Frenchman, or the ground, or something..."
  • Limited Wardrobe: Although he wears a normal variety of clothes generally, Lloyd always wears a particular type of shirt which is beige and has a rounded collar. After receiving many comments asking if he was wearing the same shirt, he made a video explaining that he has many such shirts and how he makes them from more typical store-bought shirts.
  • Martial Arts Staff: Has done several videos on quarterstaffs (or quarterstaves) and their fighting techniques (starting here). To sum up, they're fairly handy as a nonlethal weapon, and while you can hold them with your hands near the middle as is shown in every movie, once one gets used to wielding them one tends to prefer holding them like a spear, with both hands near one end, because of the greater reach advantage. However, you can also change your grip on them very quickly, allowing for a great variety of techniques.
  • Motor Mouth: He has a habit of speaking very rapidly.
  • MST: Does this when reviewing movies, showing a scene and dubbing over it with voices of characters pointing out the logical flaws in whatever's going on.
  • The Oner: "Gladiators - fighting to entertain the mob" consists of Lloyd talking to camera for nearly two hours with no obvious edits. Illustrations are shown in a corner of the screen, not full screen.
  • Overly-Long Gag: In Cinquedea, before introducing the titular weapon at a reenactment event in Italy, Lloyd cues a drumroll from the drummer boy, and then thinks a pause in the rhythm means the drummer's finished, only to get cut off by the drum again as soon as he starts talking. He keeps repeating this process for at least thirty seconds before finally declaring, "Right, I've lost patience."
  • Phony Veteran: Consciously averted with his costume uniform, for which he deliberately chose medals that are blatantly impossible for one person to have earned, such as an 1873 Ashanti Campaign medal sitting alongside a modern Afghanistan-related medal. And for his insignia, he picked the "crowned wreath encircling a dragon and sword" badge of ... the Royal Army Dental Corps!
  • Product Placement: In 2016, Lloyd picked up and The Great Courses Plus as sponsors, and gives a spiel for one of these services about midway through most of his videos, particularly long ones about history that aren't related to some other cause, such as his graphic novel project. Additionally, in this video about beds, he promises product placement, and mocks the concept throughout by periodically mentioning and showing various products that have nothing to do with the subject. The video as a whole was sponsored by a mattress company, who wanted him to un-box one of their product, and he agreed on the condition that he could take the piss out of the whole procedure.
  • Red Shirts: Displays his Genre Savvy in Ironclad: Part 5:
    "Our heroes deploy to meet the attack, and—top marks! They've actually formed a shield wall! That's rare in a film, but...ah, can you see the mistake they've made here? All the men in the front wall here are wearing helmets. That means that they're minor characters. In the front row. Final big battle. Yep, they're dead!“
  • She Is the King: His main issue with calling actresses “actors”, as stated in his rant video “Actress is a perfectly good word”; he believes it implies that women can’t act well, so they have to be referred to as men in order to be taken seriously.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: In "Battle fatigue - did it affect soldiers in the ancient world?", Lloyd discusses post-traumatic stress disorder, also known as battle fatigue or shell shock, and why it affects modern soldiers more than those in the past. The main reasons: the continuous and random nature of shell bombardments is physiologically impossible to get used to, and the ability of modern weapons to reach long distances means a modern soldier is never entirely safe; as well, ancient cultures glorified violence to the extent that their fighters had a much easier time of justifying it.
  • The Siege: In A point about sieges he basically makes the point that sieges were common, and battles were rare. In Sieges and Siege-craft, he explains major differences in the scale and context of sieges between the ancient world and the Middle Ages.
  • Sinister Scythe: Did a couple videos on scythes as weapons of war (starting with this), basically saying they're not designed for it and don't work well in combat, especially if they haven't been altered in any way from their pure agricultural form.
  • Sticks to the Back: Not exactly this trope, since he doesn't talk about weapons sticking to a characters' back with no apparent means of holding them there, but he does talk about about how scabbards worn on the back as you often see in films and television are not practical at all. You can't get the tip of a long sword to clear the throat of the scabbard before your arm can't extend anymore, and there's no evidence they were used in historical times. In his review of The Last Kingdom he pauses to play a siren, highlight the offending sword and scabbard in red, and yell, "Back-scabbard alert!" In every subsequent movie review, he does the same out of habit.
  • Stock Scream: The Wilhelm scream plays in the title sequence of his "Lloyd Rants" videos.
  • Suffer the Slings: Starting here are a number of videos about slings and related weapons, including instructions for their make and use.
  • Take That!: Lindy never misses an opportunity to diss the French, though he's mostly being facetious about it.
  • Tank Goodness: Had done a number of videos about armored fighting vehicles, and is very enthusiastic about them.
  • To Win Without Fighting: In his praise of the Churchill Crocodile flamethrowing tank, Llyod talks about how the goal of warfare is to get your enemy to give up and surrender. Although the Crocodile could be effective in its intended use, clearing out German bunkers with flaming death at relatively close range, it was even better as a psychological weapon. If the tanks made intimidation displays by shooting fire from out of distance, large numbers German defenders would become so terrified of burning to death that they'd surrender to British infantry without fighting, thus saving lives on both sides. In order to work, the tanks had to make their display from some distance, since doing it at lethal range would prevent the Germans from coming out and encourage them to fight desperately instead. There also had to be British infantry to surrender to, since tanks cannot capture prisoners.
  • True Art Is Incomprehensible: The target of his rant Modern art insults me, where he describes a visit to a Slovenian castle where they were showing a certain sculptor's work, and despite a program extolling it as being full of meaning, it just looked like a pile of refuse to him. What made him feel insulted was that the work made no effort to be understood. He compares this to when you throw a big fancy costume party and everybody dresses up, and if one guy shows up in jeans and a T-shirt, then it's kind of insulting to the host because he didn't put any effort into making the party a success like everybody else did. What most people appreciate is effort, skill, and an apparent attempt to please, and he thinks that all of these things are missing in a very great amount of modern art. In contrast, he thinks the critical establishment tends to look down upon artists such as hyperrealist sculptor Ron Mueck who puts a huge amount of skill and craftsmanship into his creations, but the public loves him because they see that the artist is making such an effort to show them something extraordinary.


A Realistic Delay

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