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This Review Reveals Minor Details About the Plot.

Have Axe, Will Journey

The Green Knight on IMDb

Plot Overview

Christmas bellsEarly morning in a medieval barnyard a foraging goose & goat are butting heads in an unequal contest. Joyous bells announce Christmas morning; peasants and knights alike repair to the chapel presided over by king and queen. King Arthur (Sean Harris) requests that his green­horn nephew Sir Gawain (Dev Patel) regale them with tales of his derring-do, but he is short in the adventure department.

The Green KnightGawain's mother (Sarita Choudhury) being a witch conjures up a green knight out of the elements of the forest who rides in with a combat challenge, “Oh greatest of kings, let one of your knights try to land a blow against me. Indulge me in this game.” If Arthur's knight succeeds, then he can claim the battle axe the green knight wields, and one year hence he will journey north to the green chapel to submit him­self to a similar blow from him, hard or soft to match the original strike. The king and his knights demur, but Gawain seeking a quick route to fame decapitates the acquiescent willow and is done with it. Okay.

glassI'm reminded of the story of the chicken asking the pig to join him in donating a ham and egg breakfast to the church. The pig replied that to the chicken it's a donation, but to him it's a total sacrifice. An effigy conjured from the vines of the wood could have its top lopped off, only to regrow it in a year. A hapless man will not be so lush. Sir Gawain better enjoy his year of fame while he is still around.


“The Green Knight” serves as a cautionary tale about hasty words à la (Eccl. 5:1-3)
Keep thy foot when thou goest to the house of God, and be more ready to hear, than to give the sacrifice of fools: for they consider not that they do evil. Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few. For a dream cometh through the multitude of business; and a fool's voice is known by multitude of words.

candlesThe king refrained from leaping over the table to meet the green knight's challenge as he might have done in his youth. Gawain's ensuing journey crosses forested paths with a garrulous scavenger (Barry Keoghan) who prattles on and on. And then Gawain is accosted by highway­men down the road who knock him out cold resulting in troubled visions. One doesn't always keep track of what he's saying when he rambles on or when he spaces out. In a sacred setting of a chapel, especially on a well-attended holy day, it might behoove one to limit his speech to the standard greetings, “Christ is born” & “Christ is born indeed.” Other­wise he may find him­self in hot, i.e. evil, water.

(Eccl. 5:4-5) “When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed. Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay.” It would have been more noble for Sir Gawain not to have agreed to the green knight's terms than to renege after he'd agreed—and then chopped off his top.

(Eccl. 5:6) “Suffer not thy mouth to cause thy flesh to sin; neither say thou before the angel, that it was an error: where­fore should God be angry at thy voice, and destroy the work of thine hands?” As a sop to modern times the character of Saint Winifred's ghost (Erin Kellyman) is intro­duced into this classic fable. She'd refused a lord's unwarranted advance and got her head severed for her trouble. This is in contrast to Sir Gawain accepting the hospitality of a castle's couple and when confronted by the lady at night in his bed chamber, he agreed that he “wanted to” but that “it isn't right.” She ravishes his passive form. Modern feminist theory holds that unless it's vigorous consent it doesn't count, but here we'd hardly lump the knight's acquiescence with the saint's resistance, to call them both rape. Like­wise, Sir Gawain's hesitant consent to the terms of the challenge was consent enough and shouldn't be passed off as a whoopsie.

(Eccl. 5:7) “For in the multitude of dreams and many words there are also divers vanities: but fear thou God.” It's good to stay focused.

Production Values

” (2021) starring Dev Patel, Alicia Vikander, Joel Edgerton, and Sean Harris was written and directed by David Lowery. Patel played the knight combatant with quiet intensity trying to sort out business he'd have been better off not sticking his Roman nose into. All the actors did a good job portraying their historical/mythical characters.

MPAA rated it R for violence, some sexuality and graphic nudity. It was filmed in part at Cahir Castle, Cahir, County Tipperary, Ireland. It runs 2 hours 10 minutes. Daniel Hart gave it an excellent score, cinema­tog­rapher Andrew Droz Palermo made it reflect its times, and the over­all production design was outstanding.

Review Conclusion w/a Christian's Recommendation

This is an historical myth that's well made and offers food for modern thought. The pace is rustic slow. The characters are diverse & interesting. Heroism has its price in this one.

Movie Ratings

Action factor: Well done action flick. Suitability For Children: Not Suitable for Children of Any Age. Special effects: Well done special effects. Video Occasion: Good for a Rainy Day. Suspense: Keeps you on the edge of your seat. Overall movie rating: Five stars out of five.