As a result of his journeys, Jack has learned how to fulfill Tom Builder's dream of a cathedral filled with light. Aliena tracks Jack by following the trail of his carvings. Waleran offers Philip a ...
Eight years later, Jack's fixation with the cathedral leaves him little time or energy for anything else, while Aliena's fixation with the distant Earldom of Shiring has married her to Alfred, a man ...
The Pillars of the Earth is set against a backdrop of war, religious strife and power struggles which tears lives and families apart. In that time, there rises a magnificent Cathedral in Kingsbridge. Against the backdrop, love-stories entwine: Tom, the master builder, Aliena, the noblewoman, the sadistic Lord William, Philip, the prior of Kingsbridge, Jack, the artist in stone work and Ellen, the woman from the forest who casts a curse. At once, this is a sensuous and enduring love story and an epic that shines with the fierce spirit of a passionate age. Follett masterfully weaves these stories through political turmoil of 12th century England, creating a relevant and viable world for today's audience and for generations to come.Written by
Prior Philip is referred to by several characters as 'Father', 'a Priest' and a character at one point goes to make Confession to him.
In actual fact Philip was a monk and never a priest, so should have been referred to as 'Brother' not 'Father'. Also, in Catholic ritual only priests can hear confessions. Monks cannot. See more »
First of all, I haven't read the book, this is my opinion solely on the series. I do however plan to read the book, since many other reviewers praise it so much.
I guess it was a mistake to watch this right after I finished watching Game of Thrones. This is NO Game of Thrones. It is also set in the Middle Ages, but it is not "dark" enough. There is also some bloodshed, but it is nowhere close to the gore in Game of Thrones. And there is some sex in it, but again, that was more fairy tale -ish love, it was not really sexy...
There are many flaws in this series, flaws that even someone not familiar with British medieval history, like myself, can notice. Stuff like how the dialogue got so out of place at certain points it made me laugh. Or how after Aliena and Richard are stripped of their title and castle, Aliena decides to make money by working as a merchant. So she just trades fur and just gets rich. Like everybody else around was just stupid and didn't think to work and earn money. She, a woman in the Middle Ages, a princess who had never worked in her entire life, could just do it.
Another thing that bothered me was that the actors did not look convincingly medieval, they looked like modern people in an odd setting. I am not sure why... Maybe their make-up, or the way they talked, or the way they carried themselves in general? I cannot really place it, but they felt odd. Especially Ellen. Every scene she was in felt like I had just found Waldo! Not to mention the fact that they weren't aging... The plot covers something like 15 years, yet Ellen looks 30 when her son is 18, and 30 when her son is 30. Another problem with the casting was Alison Pill as Maud. I kept waiting for her to start playing the drums or something! She looked nothing like a medieval Queen.
Moreover, this is a clear case of the good guys fighting the bad guys. The bad guys' sole reason of existence is to do bad things to the good guys. Why? We are given some reasons in the beginning, but at the middle of the series I had to try and remember what the reasons were. They seemed to do "bad" things because they enjoyed being mean. And the line "who do you hate the most?" just stresses this. It was like the Queen in Snow White asking her mirror who is the prettiest. The villains in this series are equivalent to villains from a Disney movie. No depth and no character whatsoever.
The story revolving around the character of Richard also gives many opportunities for "whaaat...?"s. He was a total coward at first and then miraculously turned to the greatest knight in the kingdom, all because he went to train in France. How exactly did this happen? Then he fought for King Stephen, the one who executed his father for treason. Instead of Maud, the one his father tried to help. And so on.
Why I gave this a seven then? Well, despite its flaws, I actually enjoyed it! I liked the many different character plots connected around the building of the Cathedral. Every time I visit a medieval Cathedral I wonder and try to picture its story... How it was used originally, how did they manage to build it. And I know this is not a historically correct answer, but it's a perfectly suitable fictional one. And as far as television making goes, this had a little bit of everything: numerous characters to like or dislike, love, fighting, treason, plotting. And okay I admit, I do have a soft spot for Eddie Redmayne. Even though his character comes out a bit inefficient at times, if not stupid.
This is light entertainment, not history, and if you are looking for a fun way to spend a few evenings, it is a nice choice. Not a great one, but good enough.
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