We’re bringing it back, folks! It’s time to play Seven Medieval Words and this time, it’s pandemic themed! That’s right, Doc has seven Old English words and Nina has to guess their modern English translation. Last time they played, her score was a humiliating 1/7. Think she can do better this time?
As always, Pop Medievalists are invited to play along too! Can you can get the full seven?
The words are: laecehus, adl, onflyge, grima, lacnung, angbreost, hraecca
Pandemic! the board game (https://www.amazon.com/Z-Man-Games-ZM7101-Pandemic/dp/B00A2HD40E/)
Doc and Nina are taking a holiday break! So for this Minisode, they’re releasing unheard content from episode 23 “Thar Be Dragons” about everyone’s favorite stuffy, ridiculous, and historically inaccurate bastion of knightly chivalry, Sir Orrin and his uncomfortable fascination with an underage Melisande.
If you need some context, go back and listen to their episode on “The Flight of Dragons”
In their Christmas episode, Doc explains the bizarre Medieval history of the carol, “Good King Wenceslas,” beginning with the pronunciation (which Nina bungles several times during this episode). They’ll discuss the confusing difference between the two Wenceslases (Wenceslii?), the real-life martyrdom of the correct Wenceslas, some fratricide, and the legend of Blanik Mountain. Plus, Nina successfully makes a connection between King Wenceslas and “The Lord of the Rings.”
Doc and Nina finish up Movember 2020 with a unicorn stinker: 1985’s “Legend” with Tom Cruise, Mia Sara, and Tim effing Curry! Sorry folks, they know you loved this as a kid, but this did NOT hold up!
They’ll talk about innocence and unicorns, the Biblical imagery and the Garden of Eden, Jack’s medieval armor, and more about the 1980’s Satanic Panic. For an added bonus, Doc and Nina will debate the existence of the Lord of Darkness’ father — was he God? Invisible? A chair?! Are they giving this too much thought??
Mo-vember continues (but with some more family friendly counter-programing this time)! This episode, Doc and Nina offer up 1982’s “The Flight of Dragons,” a Rankin/Bass animated medieval-fantasy adventure and one of Nina’s childhood favorites. Dragons, magic, celebrity voice acting, and theological debates – this is some heavy stuff for a children’s movie, folks, but somehow it still works!
Also in this episode, Doc and Nina discuss what dragons represent in medieval history; the movie’s recurring science versus religion themes, and the interesting choices of knighthood and chivalry. Plus, Doc does some karaoke!
Mo-vember is back! This year, we’re starting off with two Decameron-themed sex comedies. First, Doc and Nina discuss 2007’s Virgin Territory starring Hayden Christensen and Mischa Barton. They’ll go over this movie’s costume choices, the naked and horned-up nuns, and Tim Roth’s decision to play this movie as straight as possible. This one’s got Nina fired up and angry folks, so prepare for a rant!
Then, they’ll finish up with a better movie, 2017’s The Little Hours. This movie, while also about randy nuns, uses a combination of anachronistic dialogue and some historical accuracy to tell a story. This one’s actually enjoyable!
Warning: this episode contains a fair amount of humorous, though not descriptive, acknowledgement of sex. If that’s not your bag, you may want to sit this one out.
It’s spooky season, folks! In this episode, Doc tells Nina about the medieval origins of werewolves! They’ll discuss some different types of werewolf myths, what werewolves represent in pop culture, and why vampires are favored over their hairier counterparts. Then, Nina recommends some movies with truly frightening werewolf transformation scenes.
In the mid-aughts, director Scott Wegener cast a black actor in the title role of his zero-budget movie, “Beowulf: Prince of the Geats.” That attracted the attention of some Unpleasant Sorts. After hearing about the controversy, Doc published a very academic article (he is, after all, an academic) in a very academic journal about the experience. That ALSO attracted the attention of the same Unpleasant Sorts. In fact, they started showing up to his talks…
Don’t ever assume being Doc’s student is boring, folks. Sometimes its downright scary!
Doc takes Nina back to the 1970’s with the DC comic book, Beowulf Dragon Slayer. It’s a limited series run about the titular Medieval hero who fights Grendel and his mother, but that’s where the similarities end. *Stefon voice*: It. Has. Everything! Greek mythology! Alien space craft! Dracula! Satan! All in six issues! This is a weird one, folks. But trust us — it’s interesting!
In this episode, Doc breaches a subject that is so uncomfortable, so provocative that it raises eyebrows and makes his students squirm every year in class: the relationship between philosopher/theologian Abelard and scholar/prioress Heloise. He’ll discuss Abelard’s life as a travelling, rabble-rousing scholar, his torrid affair and secret marriage to his student Heloise, and the, uh, painful aftermath of their union. Then, Nina asks about the problems of secret marriages, brings up criticism of Heloise’s place in history, and even slides in a crass joke or two.