The Subject of Knights in the SCA

There is a really great discussion going over at Armor Archive about Knights. I had asked about putting Knights up on pedestals. And many of the Knights responded with how they felt about that.

As a fighter and having many admirable Knights to put on pedestals in An Tir, you don’t want the impression of being all stalkery. And reading the replies the Knights gave, I really think that we (unbelted) can put a lot of unnecessary pressure on a Knight. We each have an ideal of we think a Knight should be, yet we tend to forget, that Knight is still a man and subject to the whims of men. Anger, rage, wrath, etc.

And it’s up to us to continue to support them even in those moments when they ‘seem’ less than Knightly.

My thing is, look at the journey they went on to get the White Belt. It’s a huge deal. Practices, bruises, so tired they can’t stand, learning Knightly ideals. Of course, I’ve seen they have a lot of fun along that journey too! But for the most part, it looks like a lot of hard work.

I know some fighters and non fighters have seen the Chivalry as a ‘boy’s club’ where friends of the Chivalry get brought in. But when I was really active, what I saw were fighters that worked their asses off to attain the goal and when they got it, it was rightly done.

Of course as a fighter, you want to be a part of the cool group. And I don’t mean just the Chivalry and being a Knight, but being a part of the fighter groups. It’s like a brotherhood. They really look like they have a lot of fun.

I was told once by a fighters wife that I would not only never be a Squire but never be a Knight because I was female. Since I was far removed from my goal of Knight, I asked her more about the Squire bit. She said the wives don’t like it when their husbands have female Squires.

I don’t really understand why since a fighter is a fighter and that fighter’s goals are to get better and progress on the road to becoming the best fighter they can be. As a female fighter, my interest in a Knight or other fighter mentor isn’t lust, its knowledge.

I have a lot to prove before I even think about Squiring to someone. I’ve to commit to practicing, going to practices, working my ass off. And hopefully, one day, if the stars align, I can find a Knight either with a Lady who has no issues or without one.

My idea of a Knight/Squire relationship is one of being in service to the Knight. One that you carry his armor, fetch his food/drink, stand by at the ready in case he needs something, and in return you benefit from his knowledge and teachings.

Now, I have no idea if that is a far-fetched unrealistic relationship idea because I’ve never really talked to other Squires or other fighters who were yet to become a Squire about it.

One thing I learned is you don’t approach the Knight (although I’ve even heard some Knights say, they’d rather the person approach them). You prove yourself worthy to the Knight that feels you’d be the best fit to his program. Again, I don’t know how true that is. I should check the Archive and see if there have been discussions.

Either way, I’m a long way from any of this but it’s fun to think about.


About Livia Tasia

I love horses, fantasy, writing, the SCA, swordfighting, Mercedes Lackey.

Posted on February 10, 2011, in Heavy Fighting, SCA and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. just a random side note, im happy the computer remembers my name and email so i odnt have to type it in everyday xD

    but dude, i like the idea of putting knights up on pedestals =D sounds kinda cool, tho i kinda thought they already did that ^.^;

    i find it funny that wifes flip out like that xD (personally i thinks its just an excuse to give their men a hard time xD) they need to get over it lol. i like your idea of a Knight/Squire lol tho to tell the truth i miss read the sentence and thought you were comparing the relationship between the two as food/drink and it confused me but then i reread it lols

    dude if i was more into this stuff (like my anime) i would totally be all like YOU ME TRAIN NOW! >=D cause this stuff is really interesting =D

  2. LOL! You are funny. I hoped I explained it a little better in person, but I appreciate that you are reading my blogs! When I can fit back in my armor – I’ll let you smack me around so I can practice my shield work!

  3. Nice article.
    I like it. Step one to getting knighted: be a knight. knighthood has little to do with regalia and everything about who you are. You go out there, you fight, dance, do artsy stuff, not be a jerk, help people who need it, and mostly keep the ego in check…you’re almost there. The chiv and crown doesn’t really MAKE knights: they RECOGNIZE knights for who they are, who they have been and who they hope they will remain.

    knighthood isn’t a goal nor a destination. It’s a way of live on the field and off. I think it’s that way within and without the society, but not everyone subscribes to that.

    Some wives do get weird about male knights/ female squires. I think that’s because the SCA /can/ be a little loose in some areas. A lot of foolin’ around goes on. It happens. Honestly it was never a problem for Kay and I. I think we’re about as secure in our marriage as they get. That’s important thing to look at really: how does the knight act with others, esp their family. It’s about more than being a hot stick (it’s easy to be glamoured by the robo-duke with the fast stick).

    Honestly, as far as seeking out a knight, look for a good fighter, obviously, but look at their demeanor. Check out their ego. How do they treat Joe Newbie? Do they still help little old ladies carry their bags? Do they help people in the middle of a rainstorm set up their pavilion? This speaks of character. being a good servant doesn’t end when you get a fancy belt and chain…it is just beginning.

    We have all seen knights who have let it go to their head. They don’t want to take that shot from the new guy. They kick back and drink a beer while the worker bees set up pavilions. You can see how knighthood was a “prize” to them. It happens a lot. Strive to find one better than that. strive to be MORE than that.


  4. Thank you for the great advice (as you always give!). I remember you saying before about acting Knightly. This is really inspiring.

  5. I approached my knight.

    I think it depends on the knight, not necessarily a hard or fast rule.

    I wouldn’t go out and approach a Knight on day one, but if you have formed a relationship with that person, then some knights will respond to you wanting to walk that path and wanting to learn.

    Others as you say may not feel that way.


    • Thank your for the advice. I will definitely keep that in mind. I have a long ways to go before I think about squiring. But it’s good to have some idea of how it works, if I get to that point.

  6. Eric Gillins (Rubrius Erasimus)

    I was squired BECAUSE I was already serving a Knight. Really had no interest in Knighthood myself, as I was never really interested in tournament fighting. I fit my Knight’s style, he wanted loyalty…I have that to a fault. Interestingly enough, even though neither of us really play much anymore, that relationship continues.

  7. Eric Gillins (Rubrius Erasimus)

    How did you hear Jeff was armoring up again?

    • He told me on Facebook so I sent him back the shield he had left me as well as a set of brand new knees I didn’t want to use.

      Are you going to any events this year?

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