A Knight's Tale

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A Knight's Tale is a 2001 film about a peasant squire who takes up the identity of his master after an untimely demise so that he can compete in jousting tournaments.

Written and directed by Brian Helgeland.
He Will Rock You.taglines

Geoffrey Chaucer

  • My lords, my ladies, and everybody else here not sitting on a cushion! [crowd roars] Today... today, you find yourselves equals. [crowd roars] For you are all equally blessed. For I have the pride, the privilege, nay, the pleasure of introducing to you to a knight, sired by knights. A knight who can trace his lineage back beyond Charlemagne. I first met him atop a mountain near Jerusalem, praying to God, asking his forgiveness for the Saracen blood spilt by his sword. Next, he amazed me still further in Italy when he saved a fatherless beauty from the would-be ravishing of her dreadful Turkish uncle. [crowd, boo] In Greece he spent a year in silence just to better understand the sound of a whisper. And so without further gilding the lily and with no more ado, I give to you, the seeker of serenity, the protector of Italian virginity, the enforcer of our Lord God, the one, the only, Sir Ulllrrrich von Lichtenstein! [crowd roars] Thank you, thank you, I'll be here all week.
  • I will eviscerate you in fiction. Every pimple, every character flaw. I was naked for a day; you will be naked for eternity.
  • Good people, I missed my introduction! But please... Please I pray you, hear it now, for I would lay rest the grace in my tongue and speak plainly. Days like these are far too rare to cheapen with heavy handed words, and so, I'm afraid without any ado whatsoever...[passes in front of Prince Edward] Excuse me My Lord, Here he is, one of your own, born a stone's throw from this very stadium, and here before you now, the son of John Thatcher... Sir Wiiiiiilliam Thatcheeer!

Count Adhemar

  • You have been weighed, you have been measured, and you have been found wanting. In what world could you possibly beat me?


William: I'll ride in his place.
Roland: What's your name, William? I'm asking you, William Thatcher, to answer me with your name. It's not Sir William. It's not Count, or Duke or Earl William. It's certainly not King William.
William: I'm aware of that.
Roland: You have to be of noble birth to compete!
William: A detail. The landscape is food. Do you want to eat or don't you?
Roland: If the nobles find out who you are there'll be the devil to pay.
William: Then pray that they don't.

[William and his friends first meet Geoffrey Chaucer, walking naked down the road]
William: Oi, sir! What are you doing?
Chaucer: Uh... trudging. You know, trudging? [pause] To trudge: the slow, weary, depressing yet determined walk of a man who has nothing left in life except the impulse to simply soldier on.
William: Uhhh... were you robbed?
Chaucer: [laughs] Uh, interesting question actually. Yes, and then at the same time a huge, resounding no. It's more a sort of involuntary vow of poverty... really. But you know, on the brighter side, trudging does represent pride. Pride, resolve and faith in the [unhappily] Good Lord Almighty, please, Christ, rescue me from my current tribula-- OW! ...lations. [picks a stone out of his foot with his teeth]

William: I'm Ulrich von Lichtenstein, from Gelderland, and these are my faithful squires. [gestures to Roland] Delves, of Dodgington, [gestures to Wat] and Falhurst, of Crew.
Chaucer: I'm Richard the Lionheart, pleased to meet you. No, wait a minute, I'm Charlemagne! No, I'm Saint John the Baptist!
William: [drawing a dagger] All right, hold your tongue, sir, or lose it.
Chaucer: Now, you see, that I do believe... Sir Ulrich.

[Count Adhemar takes note of William's armor]
Adhemar: Your armour, sir.
William: What about it?
Adhemar: How stylish of you to joust in an antique. You'll start a new fashion if you win. My grandfather will be able to wear his in public again, and a shield, how quaint.
William: [Angrily] Hyah! [William rides off]
Adhemar: Some of these poor country knights, little better than peasants.

Adhemar: Colville withdraws. Ulrich advances. Why didn’t Ulrich finish him?
Jocelyn: He showed mercy.
Adhemar: Then he shows his weakness. That’s all mercy is.

Old Bishop: [after William rides into the cathedral on a horse to woo Jocelyn] Does this not shock you, ladies?
Jocelyn: Certainly, my lord, I just, I only laugh just to keep from weeping.
Old Bishop: [Understandingly] Beauty is such a curse. Pray your years come swiftly for you, pray your beauty fades that you may better serve God.
Jocelyn: Oh, and I do, my lord. I pray for it all the time. Why, God, did you curse me with this face?
Old Bishop: God's will has a purpose, but we may not know it. [Extends his hand so that she may kiss his ring]
Jocelyn: [goes to kiss hand, but instead admires the costly ring on his finger] Oh, that is lovely... [laughs as the bishop briefly sputters before singing a hymn]

Jocelyn: I've come to see what you'll wear to banquet tonight.
William: Nothing.
Jocelyn: Well, then we'll cause a sensation, for I'll dress to match.
William: Don't you ever get tired of putting on clothes?
Chaucer: [mutters to William] Um, I believe she's talking about taking them off, my lord.
Jocelyn: A flower is only as good as its petals. Don't you think?
William: A flower is good for nothing.
Jocelyn: Really?
William: You can't eat a flower, a flower can't keep your warm...
Jocelyn: And a rose never knocked a man off a horse either.
William: You're just a silly girl, aren't you?
Jocelyn: Better a silly girl with a flower, than a silly boy with a horse and a stick... [walks away]
Wat: It's called a lance... hello... ?

[William and the gang practice dancing upon receiving Jocelyn's invite for her banquet, with Geoffrey Chaucer keeping beat in practice]
Chaucer: And one and two and three and four and your hands should be light like a birdie on a branch. And one and two and three and four and Wat doesn't lead he follows like a girl. [Wat punches him] And one and two and twirlie twirlie twirlie! And one and two and you're still getting it wrong! And one and two and three and four you can hit me all day cause you punch like a... what?
Roland: [while sewing William's tunic] A girl!

[William has been unmasked as a fake knight and Jocelyn asks him to run away with her]
Jocelyn: Damn your pride, William. It is you and only you that will not see you run.
William: My pride is the only thing that they can't take from me.
Jocelyn: They can take it away from you, they can and they will. Oh, they will. But love they cannot take.

Prince Edward: [sighs] What a pair we make, huh? Both trying to hide who we are, both unable to do so. Your men love you. If I knew nothing else about you, that would be enough. But you also tilt when you should withdraw... and that is knightly, too. [to guards] Release him. [Edward turns to the crowd] He may appear to be of humble origins, but my personal historians have discovered that he is descended from an ancient royal line. [crowd murmuring] This is my word... and, as such, is beyond contestation. [turns to William] Now, if I may repay the kindness you once showed me... take a knee. [draws his sword] By the power vested in me by my father, King Edward, and by all the witnesses here, I dub thee Sir William. [crowd cheers] Arise... Sir William. Can you joust?
William: What?
Prince Edward: There's my tournament to finish. Now, are you fit to compete, or shall the forfeit stand?
William: No, I'm fit.
Prince Edward: I shall have your opponent informed of it. You look for his shield in the lists... at once.
William: Thank you, my lord.

[Standing over Adhemar]
Wat: You have been weighed.
Roland: You have been measured.
Kate: And you absolutely...
Chaucer: Have been found wanting.
William: Welcome to the New World. God save you, if it is right that he should do so.


  • He Will Rock You.
  • He didn't make the rules. He was born to break them.
  • From peasant to knight; one man can change his stars.



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