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Western Animation / Ivanhoe: The King's Knight

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Ivanhoe: The King's Knight is a 1997 animated adaptation by CINAR and France Animation. It is a loose adaptation of the Ivanhoe novel by Walter Scott, much like the 1958 television series starring Roger Moore.

The show provides examples of:

  • Abhorrent Admirer: Prince John and Front-de-Boeuf towards Rowena.
  • Actor Allusion:
    • Front-de-Boeuf is voiced by AJ Henderson who had previously voiced the Sheriff of Nottingham in Young Robin Hood. Both characters are villains and both go up against Robin Hood, Nottingham more often than Front-de-Boeuf though.
    • Prince John is voiced by Terrence Scammell, another veteran from Young Robin Hood. His role in that series? Little John.
  • Adaptational Badass: This Ivanhoe seems to have been inspired more by the Robert Taylor portrayal than the Ivanhoe of the book.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: Richard and John were both red heads, here they are grey and black haired respectively. We also don't see that many fair haired Saxons.
  • Adaptational Villainy/ Decomposite Character: Richard's role as the Black Knight is completely removed and if there is a Black Knight it is either Bois-Guilbert or Prince John in disguise.
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  • Adapted Out: The historical John of England was at the time married to Countess Isabella of Gloucester. She was omitted for the sake of Prince John being engaged to Rowena.
  • Ancestral Weapon: The titular axe in "Thor's Axe", which is used by the Chief of the Gordale Saxons.
  • Animated Adaptation
  • Anachronism Stew:
    • Alexander II of Scotland is portrayed as being a young man but he wasn't born until a year before Richard's death.
    • As is the course for anything involving Robin Hood and this being an adaptation of the story that elevated him to the role of Big Bad for the Robin Hood story, Prince John should be called either "Earl" or "Lord John" due to calling a king's son "Prince" would not happen until the 16th century with Henry VIII's son Edward. Given John's position of Lord of Ireland, the latter is more likely.
  • And Now You Must Marry Me: Prince John to Rowena a few times, such as in "The Assassin and the Potion."
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  • Anti-Villain: Inge's reason for raiding in England? To gather money to buy back his throne in Norway.
  • Arranged Marriage: Between Prince John and Rowena. There are episodes where John tries to force Rowena into marrying him but both times end in failure.
  • Ascended Extra:
    • That is all depending on whether or not one-shot character Edwin of Gordale is in fact the mentioned Edwin Turneham of the novel.
    • Philip de Malvoisin did not have a large role in the book, in fact his brother Albert had a larger role due to being a Templar. Here he has been combined with Fitzurse elevating him to the role of Prince John's chancellor.
  • Beard of Evil: Besides Prince John, the titular Baron of Bridei has one in "The Bearded One."
  • Bedsheet Ghost: Wamba tries this in the first episode. It doesn't work.
  • Bedsheet Ladder: Rowena makes one for Rebecca and Wamba in "Ivanhoe versus Ivanhoe." Half-way up, Wamba discovers he suffers from the yet to be named vertigo.
  • Big Good: Ivanhoe, Richard and the Archbishop of Canterbury all serve this role.
  • Blatant Lies: In "The Ashby Tournament", Ivanhoe is wounded in the titular tournament. Front-de-Boeuf informs the worried Rowena that Ivanhoe died of his wounds on orders from Prince John and a plan from Malvoisin that would cause Rowena to not be at a later banquet so Ivanhoe would be alone.
  • Bloodless Carnage: Averted in the last episode - the would-be assassin is clearly bleeding from the crossbow bolt he received to the arm.
  • Bound and Gagged: Happens to Rowena and Harold once and Rebecca twice.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Rowena is given a potion by Prince John and sent to kill Ivanhoe in "The Assassin and the Potion." When she fails, Prince John attempts to make her marry him.
  • By The Power Of Gray Skull: Whenever Ivanhoe calls on Richard he gets instant winning powers.
  • Cain and Abel: The obvious with Richard and John but there is also an offstage one between Rebecca's uncles.
  • Canon Foreigner: Gawain, Harold, et al.
  • Carry a Big Stick: Front-de-Boeuf's weapon of choice is a mace, usually kept on the saddle of his horse.
  • Comic-Book Fantasy Casting:
  • Composite Character/ Expy:
    • Prince John is combined with Athelstane, in that he is arranged to be married to Rowena who makes her dislike of him obvious. Similarly, Philip de Malvoisin is combined with Fitzurse
    • Front-de-Boeuf might have been combined with Maurice de Bracy. In one episode, he tells Rowena he loves her while saying a silly rhyme while holding a narwhal horn... Naturally, she asks if he's been drinking.
    • Some of the characters seem to correspond with characters from The Three Musketeers: Ivanhoe to D'Artagnan, Harold to Porthos, Gawain to Athos, Cedric to Aramis, Prince John to Rihcelieu and Bois-Guilbert to Rochefort for example.
    • Richard bears a resemblance to Isaac of York from the 1986 animated adaptation. Similarly, Prince John resembles a bearded and mustached version of Richard III and Rebecca a brunette version of Joanna Sedley from the same company's adaptation of The Black Arrow.
    • Albert is essentially an animated version of Humility Prim from The Adventures of Robin Hood.
  • Darker and Edgier: Not as much as the miniseries but this is very much Canada's equivalent of Batman: The Animated Series. Sometimes there is utterances of "Hell/Hellish/Hell Hole" and sometimes blood is even visible.
  • Death by Adaptation: Gurth.
    • Isaac is stated to have died prior to the series.
  • Demoted to Extra:
    • Again, Gurth.
    • Bois-Guilbert but in a different way. The original novel had a Big Bad Ensemble comprised of Prince John, Bois-Guilbert and Beaumanoir. In the series Prince John is the Big Bad while Bois-Guilbert has been demoted to The Dragon.
  • Dirty Coward: Prince John shows shades of this at least once but not without justification. While participating in a siege, he has all of the enemy's arrows being fired at him and intends to spend the rest of the siege watching it from a hill. As John so eloquently put it "What is the point of having an army if all of their arrows are meant for me?"
  • Evil Counterpart:
    • Deirdre to Rebecca. Rebecca is a maiden and Deirdre is a crone, they are both wise in the ways of medicines, potions and the like with Deirdre being wise when it comes to the occult and both are presumably the only non-Saxon/Norman of their group. Rebecca, while never stated, is Jewish and Deirdre, if her name is any indication but considering Gawain is a Saxon she might not be, is Celtic.
    • Prince John is also one to King Richard, no better shown than in "A Friend in Need" where a peasant says that there were "fewer taxes under good King Richard."
    • Bois-Guilbert is most likely one to Ivanhoe with both being the knight champion to their respective master's.
  • The Evil Prince: Prince John of course!
  • Fall Guy:
    • Prince John uses Front-de-Boeuf as one, to the latter's surprise, to prevent others from knowing he arranged his own kidnapping in "The Four Black Knights."
    • In the last episode, Prince John plans to have the returning Richard assassinated and pin it on Robin Hood.
  • Frothy Mugs of Water: A notable aversion due to beer and wine being referred to by name. Naturally, Rowena's question of "Have you been drinking?" to Front-de-Boeuf makes it hard to not avert this trope.
  • The Good Prince: Alexander of Scotland.
  • Good Shepherd: The Archbishop of Canterbury, serving not just as a fair figure in the conflicts but someone who will chew out Prince John when his schemes are revealed to all.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Rowena towards Eleanor Torque in "The Saracen Armour."
  • Historical Domain Character: Besides the two obvious, there are also people such as Inge Magnusson and Alexander II of Scotland who make appearances.
    • Outside of the European characters, Saladin appears in the backstory of "The Thoroughbred."
  • Horny Vikings: Inge and his Norwegians, as well as the Gordale Saxons. The animation model for Norwegian Ivan is even reused for Gordale Saxon Elrick.
  • In Name Only: The show does not really follow the plot of the book but really if it was to be a straight adaptation of the book it would have required quite a bit of Disneyfication and Adaptation Expansion since the show was comprised of fifty-two half-hour episodes. It is still an incredibly good show though.
    • Cedric himself counts. He is not portrayed as Ivanhoe's father and seems to be more of an individual closer to Ivanhoe's own age: 25, according to the novel.
    • It is also doubtful that Albert de Malvoisin and Master Albert are one and the same.
    • The episode "The Talisman" has nothing to do with the Walter Scott novel set during the same time period.
  • The Lost Lenore: Blanche Fleur to Harold Godwin in "The Legend of the White Stag."
  • Noble Bird of Prey: "The King is Dead" features Richard delivering his medallion as proof that he is alive not via carrier pigeon but an eagle!
    • The titular falcon in "Lord Warren's Falcon" is quite loyal to his master.
  • No Pronunciation Guide: Instead of the "T" in "Bois-Guilbert" being silent it is spoken causing an entirely different pronunciation than the usual one.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: Prince John of all people! There are actually moments when we see him use a sword with great skill.
  • Obviously Evil: Malvoisin stands out quite a lot from the other Normans. Amongst all of the characters he stands out due to just how pale he is, which would probably cause first time viewers to suspect is something else but Norman!
  • One Steve Limit: Averted. We get two Harold's and Brian's. In both cases it is with one being a regular character and the other only appearing once. In the case of the Brians, Bois-Guilbert's first name is only given once in the entire series so some people would probably not remember it.
    • The heroic Edwin of Gordale from "Thor's Axe" and villainous Edwin of Harcourt from "Assassination Plot" also count.
  • Parental Substitute: Rebecca views Ivanhoe as a father and Rowena as a mother.
  • People of Hair Color: Averted. The hair colours of the Saxons range from brown to red to blond to auburn and for the Normans the hair is either black or brown.
  • Raven Hair, Ivory Skin: Malvoisin but he is anything but beautiful. He looks down right bizarre actually.
  • Robin Hood: He does not appear in every episode but he appears nonetheless and in a good many of them and even appears in the finale where he takes out his impostor with a crossbow.
  • "Scooby-Doo" Hoax: Both times involving Front-de-Boeuf. Once as the ghostly guardian of the Holy Grail in "King Arthur's Legacy" and once as a werewolf with the aid of a dog in "The Wolfman." In the case of a latter, it was to cause chaos in Rotherwood because Ivanhoe had brought a wild man into his care and the villagers believed the wild man to be a werewolf.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: While no means ugly, Rebecca looks quite nice in her "oriental costume" in "Lord Warren's Falcon."
  • Ship Tease: Between Rebecca and no more than three other characters: Saladin's son Nur, Front-de-Boeuf's Danish cousin's son William Lampton and Wamba.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: Neither Bois-Guilbert nor Front-de-Boeuf die at any point in the series.
  • Spiritual Successor: To Young Robin Hood. With the same production company, some of the same voice actors, the same setting and thus some of the same characters this is very much an improvement over the previous Robin Hood show by Cinar.
  • Swashbuckler It is an adaptation of Ivanhoe.
  • Tagalong Kid: Being old enough to be Ivanhoe and Rowena's daughter and three years younger than Wamba, Rebecca most certainly qualifies. "The Four Black Knights" shows the negative parts of this trope when Rebecca tagging along nearly costs Harold his life.
  • Team Dad: Ivanhoe to Wamba and Rebecca.
  • Team Mom: Rowena to Wamba and Rebecca.
  • Team Pet: Wamba, or at least Harold views him as such.
  • Timm Style: As seems to have been the style of the 1990's.
  • Whole Plot Reference: On a much grander scale than other examples since this focuses around Richard's imprisonment like the Robert Taylor Ivanhoe film and The Adventures of Robin Hood.
  • Wild Child: Simon, the titular character of "The Wolfman" and "The Savage", is of the wild man variation. In the latter episode he appears in Austria as a woodcutter, having left England and finding the rugged mountain wilderness reward enough for the good he has done.
  • World's Most Beautiful Woman: Or in this case the Court of England with Rowena being that woman. Unfortunately, this has resulted in not one but two cases of an Abhorrent Admirer with one of them being her arranged fiancé.
  • Xenafication: Sort of. Ivanhoe gives Rebecca fencing lessons as shown in"A Friend in Need" and later in "King Arthur's Legacy" Rowena is shown participating in archery along with the others at Rotherwood.
  • You Killed My Father: The backstory of "The Saracen Armour" states that Prince John fatally wounded Eleanor Torque's father Kenneth in a duel.


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