Knightfall - Jeremy Renner & History Channel Do The Knights Templar


Coming to History Channel December 6th, Knightfall is executive produced by Jeremy Renner for the History Channel.

From the press release : Knightfall goes deep into the clandestine world of the legendary brotherhood of warrior monks, the Knights Templar. From their battles in the Holy Land, to their complex relationship with the King of France, to the betrayal that would ultimately lead to their tragic dissolution, the story of the Knights Templar has never been fully told until now.

Starring Tom Cullen (Downton Abbey), Padraic Delaney (Tudors) and a host of other actors that will make you say “Hey! It’s that guy/girl from that other historical/period series!”


OMG this looks friggen amazing! Can’t wait till Dec!


Looks good! I’m curious to see if they will give it a definitive end after the 10 episode first season or hedge their bets for a potential continuation and leave some things open…


I am pretty excited about this and hope the series captures the same magic that has made Vikings a hit for History Channel. They’re playing it smart, with Vikings coming back Nov. 29th and Knightfall premiering directly after Vikings the following Wednesday, Dec. 6th. The audience lead in from Vikings should be very strong for this show.

The Knightfall website has some excerpts from a new book about the Knights Templar from Dan Jones. Looks pretty interesting, I may have to pick it up if/when it sees a discount over the holiday season.


Some reviews are coming in and its all sounding rather mediocre…


Knightfall, with its dull lead, splashy, would-be shocking violence, and pedestrian production design and direction throughout, also doubles down on the mystical while failing to populate itself with memorable characters.


Knightfall has a certain charm to it, particularly in some of the side-plots involving the other Templars. The show takes a little while to get going after a frenzied and muddle start, but it builds its plot twists well. It may not replicate the success of Vikings, or maybe it will, but boiled down to its most basic elements: if you enjoy swordplay and a little realpolitik in the castle, it is as advertised. Not to mention the brawny men in chainmail fighting their way across Europe, of course.


Reminder - This premiers TONIGHT at 10PM EST on History Channel, right after Vikings.


Oooh, thanks! Starting right now in fact.


Reviews I’ve seen were dreadful, including IIRC Entertainment Weekly. It looks like about 90% hack and slash and 10% anything remotely resembling a nuanced take on a very complex topic.


Watched the premiere episode. They really needed to make it a two-hour/two-episode premiere, as the premise for everything that is happening takes the full first episode just to get to the very start of an interesting plotline, and then you’re left hanging.

I still very much enjoyed it though. The Acre battle scenes were nice, with the medieval Go-Pro helm cam view a nice touch. It was kind of funny that 15 years afterwards, the only guy who seemed to have aged at all was Godfrey, the Templar leader, but what’s a little suspension of disbelief between friends?

Thus far the plot, twisting between the loss of Acre and the Grail, the struggles of France and the reluctance of current Templar leadership to leave France for the Holy Land because “mysterious reasons only just now being revealed” is fairly interesting.

I can definitely see the critics’ points as to the heavy lean towards violence and battle (then again, it’s the middle ages…) and muddled (thus far) plot being difficult to follow. It could also be a little better acted in some roles, though it’s hard to tell this early on who will survive to be a major character and who is there for plot advancement only right now.

Bottom line : I love historical fiction shows/books, and this is cut from the exact same cloth as shows like Vikings and Last Kingdom and features a new and interesting setting and focus, so I’m enjoying it thus far and am in for more episodes.


There really is absolutely no foreplay in the show - overly heavy exposition, hinting about all the things it took movies like Ivanhoe hours to get to. The use of greenscreen is also incredibly poor, with pretty much everything looking like a computer game background.

I turned off the show, when the plucky hero of show, the poor farmer, turned up and helped the poor knight templar against six men. Yeah, no thanks - I think I already read that Young Adult fantasy novel a few thousand times.

I must wonder, with a title like Knightfall - could we expect anything else than this mediocre thing?


It did look like a Total War game a few times during the battle scenes, and you’re right, they didn’t really do subtle in the premier, as it’s pretty obvious who is “good” and who is “evil” from the start.

You shouldn’t have clicked away though, as your description of that scene isn’t at all what happened. The farmer kid is going to be a minor character at best, not the hero, and he got his ass kicked, it was the Templar that killed all the highwaymen. Landry, the second in command at the Paris Templar Temple, is the main character (hero), and the reasoning behind the attack on his commander becomes clear later in the episode.


Oh - I’m glad you told me that. Sometimes, you (meaning “I” ) are just not in the mood for something, or have low tolerance, so I’ll be sure to give this another shot someday soon, and finish watching it.

I loved The Last Kingdom, Ivanhoe and so on, so the setting should be interesting to me - But I do think The Last Kingdom looked considerably better, the hair of the main character aside.


I have not yet made up my mind about Knightfall, but I do think that comparing it to Game of Thrones places it at a level which cannot help but be disappointing – and which is probably unfair.

Sure, they are capitalizing on interest in the swords, plots and medieval period drama. But Knightfall isn’t going to achieve that level of success. Expecting it can is bound to be disappointing.

Compare it to other less grandiose period dramas though and it doesn’t seem to be nearly so wanting. Is it in a league with Vikings? Sure. The Bastard Executioner? Much better. The Musketeers? Closer, but still a generally favorable comparison. Shannara Chronicles? Way better. Outlander? Hmm, I don’t know about that. Still, Outlander is aimed at an audience of a primarily different gender than Knightfall.

Knightfall is a fanciful blending of a medieval period drama with some historical elements mixed in with Arthurian tragedy and adventure.

If you don’t take it too seriously or approach it as deeply rooted historical fiction, it looks like it may prove to be fun. The writing (and acting) would benefit from more subtlety, but it’s not a bad action adventure with swords and armor.

I’m prepared to give it some time as it does not appear to be wasting my own.


So several episodes in now and the show has grown on me. I really like the Grail quest and the way it impacts the various knights in the order, as well as the involvement of the Pope and the Brotherhood of Light. I also am enjoying the political intrigue between France, England, Catalonia and Navarre, even if it is a little obvious sometimes. Even the kid who joined the order turned out to have an interesting part to play without devolving into the trope it looked like he might become at the start.

About the only thing I really dislike about the shows plot thus far is the absolutely ridiculous idea that the Queen of France could possibly be carrying on an affair with and become impregnated by a Templar. Forget the fact that she comes and goes by herself from the palace with no guard, ladies in waiting or any other protection. She’s gone for hours, sometimes overnight apparently, and nobody knows? And she’s really that careless knowing her own life and Landry’s would be forfeit if they’re discovered? Sure…whatever.

Still, I’m enjoying the show overall.