King Arthur

Factual error: I normally wouldn't bother with this sort of nitpicking, but this film specifically claims to be historically researched - and it's full of historical blunders. For a start, the film is set as the Empire withdraws its last troops from Britain - which was in 407 AD. Now Artorius Castus was a real Roman officer who really did command Sarmatian foederati at Hadrian's Wall, but he died around 200 AD. Cerdic was a real Saxon warlord who did go raiding the Britons with his son Cynric, but he did this in the early 500s. Pelagius really was tried for heresy, but he was acquitted and died of old age; the trial was a decade after this setting, and in the fifth century you couldn't be executed for heresy anyway. Also in the fifth century the Pope had no authority over Imperial troops. I could go on and on but that will do for now.

Revealing mistake: When Arthur is giving his speech before the last battle, in the background are three radio towers. You never know Arthur might need a radio to find out tomorrow's weather.

Factual error: In the beginning, which is around 400 A.D., it shows that the saddles have stirrups on them. Stirrups were not introduced in Europe until centuries after the fall of the Western Roman Empire.

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Trivia: One thing was digitally edited for the promotional posters (the trio of pictures of Guinevere, Lancelot and Arthur): Keira Knightly's (Guinevere) bust was increased purely to attract more viewers.

Trivia: The part that the film's sword master (Mark Ryan) played in Robin of Sherwood was called Nasir. He had dark curly hair, a well-groomed beard, wore black leather and fought with two swords that he wore on his back in a specially designed sword belt. Lancelot looks very like him in this movie - have a look at this link: http://www.blackplanet0.freeserve.co.uk/robinpics.htm.

Trivia: Twenty years ago, there was a series on British TV called Robin of Sherwood. Will Scarlet was played by Ray Winstone. One of the other Merry Men (Nasir) was played by Mark Ryan, who was the sword master on King Arthur. The horse master was Steve Dent who is (you guessed it) horse-master on this movie as well.

More trivia for King Arthur

Arthur: Pelagius told me once: "There is no worse death than the end of hope."
Guinevere: You and I are not the polite people that live in poems. We are blessed and cursed by our times.

Cerdic: You come to beg a truce, you should be on your knees.
Arthur: I came to see your face so that I alone may find you on the battlefield. And it will be good of you to mark my face, Saxon, for the next time you see it, it will be the last thing you see on this earth.
Cerdic: Ahhh. Finally, a man worth killing.

Guinevere: This is heaven for me.
Lancelot: I don't believe in Heaven, I've been living in this Hell. But if you represent what Heaven is, then take me there.

More quotes from King Arthur

Question: What does the Saxon who rallies the troops actually yell? He yells it twice: once, after Cerdic meets with Arthur in front of the wall and gives the order to "prepare the men for battle", and then a second time when Cerdic gives the signal after the only survivor of the first "wave" comes back through the wall. (And I don't mean his cry of "battle formation.").

Answer: I don't think it's supposed to be German. Probably Old Saxon. Could be something like "slahten fiand" - slaughter enemy.

Answer: He yells 'Schlachtet den feind!' (In very, very bad "German") - 'slaughter the enemy!'. And his army seems to yell: "Schlachtung! Schlachtung! Schlachtung..." - "Slaughter! Slaughter! Slaughter..."

Question: Throughout the movie, the Sarmatian knights shout the word "rus" at each other; Bors in particular says it a lot. Does anyone know what significance this word has or what it means?

Answer: At the beginning of the film, we learn that young Sarmatians were drafted into the Roman military for a period of fifteen years. As the Romans lead young Lancelot away from his family, his father yells 'Rus!', the war-cry that is repeated throughout the film. 'Sarmatian' was the name the Romans gave the Rus, descendants of Norsemen who had settled in lands that still bear their name today: the River Rus (in modern Romania), Russia, Belarus, and Ruthenia. Culturally and geographically, these people were the Rus. So when they were inducted into the Roman army, their war cry of 'Rus!' identified them as being fearsome Rus/Sarmatian warriors, warned their opponents that the Rus were coming for them, celebrated their cultural identity, and symbolized their hope of returning home to the Rus. In the film Arthur honors them by yelling it back, signifying the unusual bond between leader and soldier exemplified in the Round Table, Arthur's respect for the Rus warriors, and his commitment to the idea that all men are born free and have the right to their own lives and beliefs.

Rus were a people combined of Vikings traveling between Denmark and Byzantium, and Slavic people. Sarmatians were before that, but from the same area and did intermingle with Slavs, so their blood is more than likely in there.

Rus was not from Denmark.

Ruthenia was the Roman name for what is now Ukraine. The main part of Rus i.e. Kyivan Rus is actually the land and people who are now known as Ukrainians. The Sarmatians were our ancestors.

Answer: Rus in Latin means country or land. The whole movie was based on winning freedom. Fighting and dying to win them their home, their country. Arturius chooses Britain as his land and his countrymen to defend. So Rus in this context, being they are Roman, their battle cry means 'for country', not Rome but Britain. For home.

Answer: Except the Norseman/Rus came much later than Arthur's time...so that's not it. Though more to the point is the Sarmatian /Scythian relationship and their dynamic with the Romans in respect to this timeline.

Norsemen invaded Britain in the 8th century but were around much earlier. Romans recruited from foreign lands and could possibly have recruited from tribes earlier than this. Rus vikings were first recorded around the 8th century but could also have existed prior to this. It is accepted that Viking history was from 800 AD. However the legendary king Arthur was allegedly invented by a 12th century french poet. The Roman Lucius Artorius Caster died around the end of the 2nd century. So it's all speculative.

Answer: They do not yell "rus", they shout as "rochs". In fact at first the pronunciation in the movie shows that. "Rochs" is a Sarmatian term, in fact it means "light" in modern Ossetian, the only remnants of the Sarmatians in modern world. There were three major Sarmatian tribes in history: Alans, Rochsalans (Rochs-alans or Latinized Roxalans) and Iazyges. Second one bears that prefix, and historically not Roxalans but Iazyges were forced to become mercenaries for Rome. So with that yell there is a little mistake in the movie but this is tolerable at the end.

Question: What breed of horses are used for Arthur and his knights? It looks like Galahad is using a different breed of horse than everyone else.

Answer: Most of them are Friesian or Friesian crosses but but some are Andalusian.

More questions & answers from King Arthur

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