A KNIGHTS TALE: Mercy and Salvation | FCC 117

In A KNIGHTS TALE, William Thatcher (played by Heath Ledger) has the spiritual gift of mercy, and the Prince is able to provide salvation to William and restore him to nobility. Join us as we discuss these Christian themes and so much more on the Finding Christ In Cinema podcast.

For your convenience you will find each podcast segment at the time referenced below:

00:00:00 – Introduction and Previous Episode Recap
00:05:30 – Movie Discussion
00:28:38 – Christian Themes in A Knight’s Tale
01:03:52 – Listener Challenge and Feedback
01:11:38 – Well-mannered Frivolity
01:14:51 – Lightning Round
01:19:56 – Upcoming


A Knights Tale and Mercy

William Thatcher was born to change his stars. He has the chance to do just that when his master Sir Ector dies in a tournament jousting round. He puts on the suit of armor, which is too much for William to even handle at first, and completes the tournament. He wins a trophy worth fifteens gold coins which he would split evenly with his two friends Wat and Roland. He instead implores them to join him on a quest to make themselves better. He wouldn’t be fighting for fame and glory above all others; he would be fighting for his own self-esteem. Wat and Roland reluctantly agree to go along.

This image from A KNIGHTS TALE shows Heath Ledger as William.

While he may be prideful and a little arrogant, William has the spiritual gift of mercy. He can sympathize with his starving friends. He can take in, clothe, feed, and even pay off the gambling debts of a homeless poet named Geoffrey Chaucer. He can afford a mysterious and injured knight his dignity because he’s withstood an injury in the joust. He can do all these things because he has that spiritual gift of mercy.

Only Christ Can Change His Stars

The gift of mercy, however, is not enough to change his stars. In fact, as the movie shows us, it was foolish of him to think that he could change his stars by himself. After all, it gets him arrested, jailed, and then publicly humiliated in the stockyard. Even with his friends standing guard, he is still the recipient of several heads of lettuce and rotten tomatoes to the face. As the crowd grows evermore belligerent, a still voice emerges and calms the storm. It is Edward, the Black Prince of Wales, and he has to come with some good news. According to Edward, William actually is of noble birth and is, therefore, not a criminal. And so, to repay a kindness with a kindness, Edward proceeds to knight William and change his stars.

This image from A KNIGHTS TALE shows Prince Edward.

This whole scene perfectly reflects how Jesus is the only one that can change our stars. Only he can make can make the blind see, make the lame walk, and make the dead rise. Only he has that power to restore to the fold those who have fallen away. Sometimes – though it seems to be case a lot more often these days – we may not see it until we are humbled enough.

Key Texts

Matthew 5:7 DLNT

Blessed are the merciful ones, because they will be shown mercy.

Colossians 1:13-14 NLT

For he has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son, who purchased our freedom and forgave our sins.


Finding Christ In Cinema is the show where we discover Christian themes in movies past and present. Join us and together we’ll dig deeper into the silver-screen classics of yesteryear as well as the box-office hits of today. Brought to you by the Great Commission Transmission Network. View the complete show notes – including links to articles discussed – by clicking here.

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About Brenden Taylor

Brenden is a graduate student pursuing his Master in Theatre Arts degree with Regent University. He is an educational assistant and tutor by day and a theatre practitioner by night. You can find him live-tweeting his favorite movies on Twitter @LeviTheBeliever or posting poetry and unsolicited opinions at thebookofbrenden.com
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  • Philip Heard

    Hey guys! A Knight’s Tale is a definite change of pace from Halloweentimes. I knew going in about the classic rock music, so it didn’t throw me off much. I gave it that conceit and it was alright. This has a really good cast, and Heath Ledger stood out to me most, which is funny because I’m not a big fan of his Joker. Rufus Sewell is always good and I’ve seen a wide range of performances from him. Dark City is an interesting Sci-Fi Noir that he did some years ago, if that’s a genre that sounds intriguing to you.

    I also noticed the very American idea that we can be captains of our own destiny, which has an element of truth to it, but I think is mostly hogwash. Another confused idea in the film was when William said as a squire he was nothing, which is why he aspired to be a knight. Too often people are assigned value according to their appearance, wealth, and/or social status. In the 16th Chapter of 1 Samuel we are told “God does not view things the way men do. People look on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”(NET) The Bible teaches us that regardless of our circumstances, good or bad, ultimate value is found in a relationship with God, who values us so much he suffered on the cross to redeem us.

    Speaking of Zootopia, it reminds me how the mother and father were displayed in a negative light for “giving up on their dreams and settling”. I think there is great wisdom and nobility in finding contentment in life, rather than constantly striving for more and more in the pursuit of vain ambition. Paul wrote in 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12 for the church in Thessalonica “to aspire to lead a quiet life, to attend to your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you. In this way you will live a decent life before outsiders and not be in need.”(NET) Regardless of what we do, if we do it in obedience and faithfulness to God, it is valuable and worthy work- everything from cleaning out porta-potties to heart surgery. We need to regularly remind ourselves to allow our Christianity to influence our world view and values, rather than the other way around. And this podcast does a great job at helping with that.

    Love the show guys! #muhweeladgimli

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