amergina: (Montjoy)
[personal profile] amergina
I love Shakespeare, have since high school.

Hamlet is my favorite play, though I desperately want to rewrite the darn thing so that Hamlet gets off his melancholy ass and offs his uncle and takes the throne. I mean, jeez!

Yeah, I know. It's called a tragedy for a reason. *cough*

I also adore, to the point of wearing my DVD out, the Kenneth Branagh 1989 movie adaption of Henry V. It is my comfort movie. No, really. Stop laughing!

And every time, I get all pissed off at Scroop, Northumberland, and Grey. And I get all Hurrah! at the Agincourt speech and angry about the boys in the baggage.

But my heart always *always* goes out to one character in particular:

Montjoy, the French Herald.

Oh Montjoy, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

Here's this loyal Frenchman--this proud Frenchman--who is honor-bound to do his duty to the court. And he does, with grace and dignity, despite the French court being full of a bunch of haughty nincompoops. (As Shakespeare & KB portray it. I realize this a rather biased view of history.)

And he does it with sartorial elegance, too. (As a friend said.)

Every time I watch the movie, I can't help but wonder what's running through Montjoy's head.

It's obvious he admires Harry. It's obvious that he doesn't exactly admire the Dolphin. But it's also obvious (during the reading of the list of the dead) that he is sorely, sorely upset at the death of his countrymen. He is, after all, French.

What must it be like to be caught between two great powers? To admire your enemy?

There's a scene at the end of the battle when Henry falls into the mud after learning he won the day and Montjoy *nearly* helps him up. But doesn't. Because he's the French herald and Henry is the King of the English and you just don't do that.

(also, nice pants Montjoy!)

But he almost does. *Almost.*

And as Henry carries a slaughtered boy across the field to be buried, he meets Montjoy one more time. Montjoy bows... then proceeds to throw himself at a group of French women who want to beat the living snot out of Harry.

Yeah, the French Herald puts himself in the way of a group of French women to protect the English King.

What *is* going on in Montjoy's mind? If I had any skill at all in fanfic, I'd probably spend countless hours writing on that. Alas, I can't crawl into other people's characters... even Shakespeare's (or KB's direction of Shakespeare's).

But damn, if I can't use those questions and what ifs as inspiration to create my own characters and situations.

About now, the six (or so) people who have read my thesis novel can probably guess which character was inspired by Montjoy the Herald.

A troupe of emotions played across the taller man's face. "I--cannot serve two masters."

"Then serve only one." Essen watched the aide for a moment, then resumed his walk to the palace. He did not bother to look back.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-05-28 01:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I see him as a gentle, honorable man who is torn between his oaths to a king (well, the Dauphin is the instigator) whose actions he deplores and a king whom he respects and perhaps admires. And so he treads a fine line between loyalty and admiration.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-05-28 03:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I love fine lines. I love forcing characters over them and then seeing what they do.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-05-30 06:22 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Here via the link in henry_herald, and I have to say this sums up my attitude to the dear Herald very neatly – and isn't it nice to find other people who think the same way!

And really, admiring the enemy is not altogether unusual, even in modern times. During WWII the British more or less adopted Erwin Rommel as “one of us”, even when he was creating havoc with our forces in the desert. The regime he was supporting was violent even by mediaeval standards, but he was merely doing his duty, just as Henry was.

Dear Montjoy could have done so much better than Henry, I feel, could have had his pick of anyone in Europe... but Henry is who he fell for, and therefore to my mind, Henry is what he should get!

(no subject)

Date: 2011-05-30 03:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh, it is exceedingly nice to find other people who are of the same mind!

And I love your stories, by the way.

I found yours first (and those lead me to henry_herald). You come up fairly early if you google "henry v montjoy". And I really did gasp when I discovered the fandom existed. (Huzzah! I'm not completely insane! There are others!)

I tend to be hopeless with characters not of my own making, but if there ever was a fandom in which I wanted to write... this is it. There's just so much that could be said...

And it might be interesting to try. We'll see.


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