Since HBO and Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss love to make us miserable, we probably won’t see a single episode of the eighth and final season of the hit series until 2019. If that isn’t horrible enough to contemplate, Game of Thrones creator George R.R, Martin still doesn’t have a release date set for his highly anticipated sixth installment of the A Song of Ice and Fire series — The Winds of Winter.
Since we are in a renaissance of television, there are a ton of shows to keep us occupied until 2019. Marvel and DC Entertainment are revving up their television presence even further. With historical dramas, like HBO’s The Deuce and Starz’s Outlander, and a ton of hilarious sitcoms to boot, television lovers have seemingly endless options. However, none of them follow our favorite citizens of Westeros as they embark on the Long Night and deal with the infiltration of the Night King.
Still, there is one show headed to the History Channel that just might tide you over until Game of Thrones returns. Here’s what you need to know about it.
Swords and battles
If you lay awake at night thinking wistfully of Jon Snow and Ramsay Bolton’s epic confrontation during the Battle of the Bastards, you’ll love the History Channel’s forthcoming series, Knightfall. The series follows the medieval and legendary Knights Templar.
It’s set to debut on Dec. 6, 2017.
Knightfall is inspired by real historical events. Founded in 1119, the mysterious Catholic military order Knights Templar boasted the most skilled fighters of the Crusades. However, their skills didn’t simply end on the battlefields. The Templars also managed the massive economic ecosystem, which was spread across different parts of the globe where Christianity flourished. The Knights Templar also built fortresses around Europe and the Holy Land.
Unlike Westeros and our favorite Starks, the Knights Templar existed in real life.
The Holy Grail stands at the center
It’s not the Iron Throne, but the Holy Grail is the legendary cup Jesus supposedly drank from at the Last Supper. Many men died on their quest to claim it, and Knightfall focuses on those journeys.
The series description reads, “The Knights Templar were the most powerful, wealthy and mysterious military order of the Middle Ages, entrusted with protecting Christianity’s most prized relic — the Holy Grail — and harboring secrets capable of great destruction.”
Though the Brothers of the Night’s Watch turned out to be super shady (we’ll never forgive them for murdering our beloved King of the North), the Knights Templar seem pretty unshakeable. Not only did they help form some of the earliest versions of banking; they were sensational on the battlefield.
There were no cowards in this military order. During the Battle of Montgisard in 1177, 500 of the Knights Templar went up against the Sultan of Egypt and Syria’s 26,000 soldiers. The Knights Templar won.
Who stars in the show?
You’ll have to wait until GoT Season 8 for Emilia Clarke to grace your television screen again. However, Downton Abbey actor Tom Cullen (who ironically is set to star opposite Kit Harington in the forthcoming BBC series Gunpowder) stars in Knightfall as Templer Knight Landry.
A headstrong Knight, Landry is desperate to retrieve the Holy Grail. However, after the Knights lose several key battles in the Crusades, Landry’s faith in himself and in God is badly shaken.
Pádraic Delaney, Simon Merrells, and Olivia Ross also star in the series.
If you’re waiting with baited breathe for the forthcoming battle between Queen Cersei Lannister and the mother of dragons, Daenerys Targaryen, then the battle between the Pope and the King of France just might help you calm your nerves. Spoiler alert: It all ends badly.
A terrible end
Though the Templars were killing the game at first, they eventually began losing, and one of those lost battles cost them the Holy Land. King Philip IV of France owed the Templars a ton of money, but instead of paying, he had every Templar in France arrested and imprisoned. Confessions were tortured out of them, and they were burned alive.
The Templars were officially disbanded in 1318.
Fact vs. fiction
Like Game of Thrones, Knightfall will be full of legends and conspiracies. The warrior monks were extremely secretive during their time, and a ton of mysteries has been attached to them since then. However, the History Channel has promised to give us the full story with Knightfall. The series description says:
Knightfall goes deep into the clandestine world of this legendary brotherhood of warrior monks. 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
Follow Aramide on Twitter @midnightrami.
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