Thursday, February 21, 2008

Templar Obsession

I have been obsessed with the Knights Templar for some time. I love to find books & movies with Templar references and that is what I have been doing with my free time over the past few months.

I received the Director's Cut of "Kingdom of Heaven" for Christmas. The theatrical version of this film had several plot points and characters cut from it in order to get the time down. While it was still a good watch, you were definitely cheated from seeing Ridley Scott's vision of the epic. Unfortunately for someone with an interest in the Templars, the two nastiest characters in the story happen to be Knights of the Order. I guess they couldn't all be great guys and there are still excellent examples of what a knight (and Freemason) should be in the character of Balian as portrayed by Orlando Bloom. Check out the Director's Cut!

I have also been reading some Templar novels over the past few months, namely Robyn Young’s “Brethren: An Epic Adventure of the Knights Templar” and “Knights of the Black and White” by Jack Whyte.

Robyn Young’s debut novel centers mostly upon the character of Will Campbell, a young man in training to become a Knight of the Temple. He becomes involved with a secret organization within the Order and risks his life while trying to retrieve the Book of the Grail. This book, it seems, allegorically tells the Order’s secrets and if it were to come to light would spell the end of the Knights of the Temple. The author has done an excellent job in her research of the period. She describes the time & places beautifully without slowing down the story. If you like it, the second book (yes, it’s a trilogy), “Crusade” is already on the shelves.

Jack Whyte has a little more writing experience under his belt, with his Camulod series of Arthurian novels. He steps in the Knights Templar arena with “Knights of the Black and White”, the first novel in, yes, you guessed it, another trilogy. This book tells of the creation of the Knights by members of the Order of the Rebirth of Sion; their acquisition of the stables over the famed Temple of Solomon as their headquarters and their years of digging under the said Temple to find??? Well, I can’t tell you what they find but while they were digging a lot is going on in Jerusalem. This a massive story but when you finish it, you will be ready for the second one, “Standard of Honor” – check them both out!

Lastly it would be a crime not to mention "The Templar Code for Dummies" by Brother Christopher Hodapp and Alice Von Kannon. I have really enjoyed reading this book and can't recommend it highly enough. History can be powerfully boring to read at times, even when it's a subject that you are really interested in, but the authors have written a very enjoyable reference book that keeps you very entertained. This book belongs in every Templar enthusiast's and Freemason's library. Stop reading this blog & get out there buy this book!


Elim said...

So if someone already owns the Theatrical version of Kingdom of Heaven on DVD, is it worth it to buy the Director's cut?

Are there that many differences?

Br. Richard Powell said...

I think that it is well worth it. There is another hour of material added to the theatrical version that explains alot left unseen or unsaid in that version. If that is not enough, the documentaries on Discs 3 & 4 should tip your decision.


Radcliffe said...

While we tend to glorify the ideals of the order we shouldn't lose sight of the fact that power corrupts, so abuse would have happened with the Templars too, hoarding religious relics, bones of saints etc.

Unknown said...

In case you did not know, Jack Whyte's 3rd book in his Templar series has already been released. It is called Order in Chaos. Awesome read, and I am almost finished.