Ancient-Warfare Historian Rates 10 More Battle Scenes In Movies And TV | How Real Is It?

Roel Konijnendijk teaches ancient history at Lincoln College, University of Oxford.

He rates 10 battle scenes in movies and television for realism. He discusses the accuracy of ancient-warfare battle scenes from “The Northman” (2022), starring Alexander Skarsgård; penning enemies in “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” (2022); and swords and buckles in “House of the Dragon” (2022), featuring Matt Smith. He also comments on “The Last Duel” (2021), with Matt Damon and Adam Driver; bolt artillery in “The Wheel of Time” (2021), featuring Rosamund Pike; bow and arrow precision in “Robin Hood” (2010), starring Russell Crowe; and walls of flame in “Barbarians” (2020). Konijnendijk analyzes the chariot tactics displayed in “The Eagle” (2011), starring Channing Tatum; pavises in “Knightfall” (2019); and ditches in “The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc” (1999).

You can find him on Twitter at:

Watch him rate other ancient-warfare scenes here:
Part 1:
Part 2:

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Ancient-Warfare Historian Rates 10 More Battle Scenes In Movies And TV | How Real Is It?

26 Replies to “Ancient-Warfare Historian Rates 10 More Battle Scenes In Movies And TV | How Real Is It?”

  1. I remember reading that the first movie, Robin Hood, originally had a FAR different script than what was filmed. Supposedly it was an early-Medieval murder mystery basically, with Robin and the Sheriff only supporting characters. Then the producers, stars, and/or Ridley Scott, depending on who you believe, threw all that actual plot out to make just another generic origin story. So of course this battle scene at the end is a bunch of stupid nonsense, there's no plot, so they had no idea how to end this other than a big dumb setpiece.

  2. I’ve studied many Germanic depictions of animals and berserkers are a true “problem”. Nothing Germanic is actually understood. Everyone still has different visions on it. It’s been subject of study for so long and we’re basically nowhere

  3. Whenever someone asks you why you should stay in school and study – to get the hilarious confidence of this guy. His self assuredness sits mockingly behind walls and ditches of education.

  4. This man, articulately elaborates on a issue that filmmakers can't seem to understand, and why traditional media is in decline. The most accurate is a film from the last millennium, having lived through that period and this, it's less detailed, less artistic, less complex, less quality. Added to this, intentional deceptions, that take many forms: yet these people persist. Why? We could argue because it fits a narrative…

  5. In the Rings of Power's defense (for the battle scene, not the series), orcs in middle earth have night vision that lets them see in the dark. In fact, they fight most optimally in dark spaces against enemies who can't do so well in darkness and actually are weaker in daylight since it literally burns them (orcs being inherently evil creations after all). Therefore, being able to shoot back at the enemy during a night battle is realistic for middle earth's worldbuilding.

  6. Tbf to the orcs, they can actually see better in the dark than humans, so it's quite possible they can just see the archers

  7. I love when he breaks down the movies, because it really is funny how over the top strategies battlefield tactics are in movies when they would ultimately be useless

  8. I guess training extras to march in file and maneuver in ranks is more work than just telling them "run at each other like this is a metal festival", but it would be worth it. If battles were more ordered (like they were in history) the audience might also get a better feel for what is going on, enabling the writers to tell a story using the battle to a much greater extent than currently.

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