Swords, Shields, Beheadings, Oh My!


Good evening, my Lords and Ladies! We are honored by your presence. Thank you for your acceptance of our invitation on this day. Please make yourself comfortable your Grace, as we delve into the adventures of the Bear Team. Might my Lords and Ladies hear tell of these adventures?

Sorry, I can’t help it! We at the Bear Team have spent the last week completely immersed in the middle ages, and I can’t help but find myself speaking as people did back then. How, you ask,  did we find ourselves up to our ears in this long lost culture? It all began with a commercial.

That’s right. Our fascination with the 15th century began while we sat in our home, watching television. Specifically, it was a commercial for Medieval Times that began our journey. But more about that in a moment. First, I must tell you about our obsession with a certain HBO show.

We recently watched our first episode of “Game of Thrones.” Yeah, I know. We were among the tiny minority of people in the Western world who hadn’t followed the wildly popular series. “It’s so good,” we’d heard. “You have to check it out,” people would say. Yet somehow, we had resisted the urge to get involved in another HBO show.

But then “Game of Thrones” entered its 4th season, and the first three seasons were made available On Demand. “We’ll try one episode,” I said. “If we don’t like it, we won’t watch anymore.” As it turned out, after viewing the series opener, not watching was never even an option.

The show is spectacular! The violence! The sex! The betrayal! We watched one episode after another; each more addictive than the last. The dialouge is hilarious, the characters memorable; especially Tyrion Lannister. Lannister, played by Peter Dinklage, is one of the great characters currently on television. We were riveted to our seats fom the first episode to the last. When the first season ended with ***SPOILER ALERT*** the shocking beheading of Eddard Stark, I found myself completely blown away.

Following one of our evenings spent watching “Game of Thrones,” the aforementioned commercial. For those of you who’ve never heard of “Medieval Times,” it is a dinner and theatre establishment which features midieval style games, sword fighting, and jousting performances.

We here at the Bear Team have been curious about “Medieval Times” for years, but I’d been scared away by the prices, which start at $52.95 per person. I wouldn’t pay $52.95 if I were in the tournament. But when I saw the commercial, which advertised seats for $29.95 each, I jumped at the chance (which is a beautiful sight, in and of itself).

The closest “Midieval Times” “castle” is located in Atlanta. Well, that is what the website says. But if you are visiting Atlanta, don’t think that you can simply drive across town and check it out. First of all, you can’t “simply drive across town” and check out anything in Atlanta. Even a trip around the block takes upwards of 45 minutes.

Another obstacle you’d face is the fact that the castle isn’t, technically speaking, in Atlanta. It is actually located in Lawrenceville, which is about 30 miles from Atlanta. Fortunately we knew about this bit of misrepresentation and were able to find our way to the castle for the 7:30 pm show.

We walked into the castle and were seated immediately, as long as your idea of “being seated” is milling about in a giant room with the unwashed masses for an hour. When we finally made it to our seats, we were treated to an opening speech by our “serving wench,” though her spiel was weakened by a fellow server who admonished her for interrupting his identical monologue.

Eventually the show began, and the first course of the meal was served. We ate bread and drank tomato (dragon blood) soup as “knights” competed in games and contests and the “King” commented form his viewing platform above the arena.

Next up was the main course, which consisted of roasted chicken (dragon) and ribs. Diners at “Midieval Times” are issued no forks of knives, and you must use your hands to enjoy your food. This is not a problem, unless of course you used the facilities just prior to being seated and did not have time to properly wash your “utensils.”

Our enjoyment of the meal was heightened by the performance of our “wench,” who played her part in high spirits. Well, except for the time (or times) she mentioned that the current show was her third of the day. Those of you who’ve seen Janeane Garofalo’s performance in the movie “The Cable Guy” will have a pretty good understanding of what I mean.

The food was good, though the show, to this point, consisted of little more than men on horseback throwing spears at targets, and a weak plot involving the “King” and the “Princess.” But then the jousting began, and everything that happened prior was forgotten.

At least it was by me. The knights raced at each other on horseback, attempting to knock each other to the ground with lances. After one of them was forced off of his horse, the two combatants would engage in hand-to-hand combat, using swords, axes, and maces in an attempt to do each other in.

In the end, one of six knights was named champion as the spectators enjoyed dessert. All in all, it was a fun knight (I mean night! Ha ha!). For the discounted price, it was worth what I paid, though I would have felt ripped off had I been charged the full amount.

As we sat in traffic in a futile attempt to get home, I couldn’t help but reflect on how life would have been different had I been born in the middle ages. I might have been a knight, or a lord, though I could just as easily have been a commoner. I could have been forced into an arranged marriage, or not been allowed to marry at all.

But the biggest difference would have been the fact that there was no television, and “Game of Thrones,” season two, wouldn’t have been waiting for me upon my arrival at home. The seven kingdoms are at war! Oh, the horror!

As always, thanks for stopping by. We always appreciate it. See you next time!


One thought on “Swords, Shields, Beheadings, Oh My!”

  1. Right on, glad you enjoyed your experience with Game of Thrones and Medieval times. My daughter’s a big fan… of Medieval Times (way too young for the mind blowing content of Game of Thrones.)

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