is outlaw king a true story


With the independence movement largely crushed, Bruce and most of the Scottish lords submitted to Edward’s authority. It’s a bit like taking a bomb and destroying Buckingham Palace. As Nicu grows up, he starts to realise that perhaps the King of the Underworld is not the perfect father, and has to make a choice between staying in Bruce's gang, or living a 'normal' life above ground. OUTLAW KING tells the untold, true story of Robert the Bruce who transforms from defeated nobleman to outlaw hero during the oppressive occupation of medieval Scotland by Edward I … He spent the winter in hiding, perhaps on an island off the western coast, and, according to a popular but likely apocryphal tale, passed the hours by observing a spider in a cave. “The Battle of Bannockburn is really the conclusion of the civil war,” says Broun,”[and] shows everyone who isn’t an inveterate opponent of Robert I that he’s in charge, that he can defeat the King of England. The film tells of the King’s journey as he wages a war against the English after being forced into exile by England with a group of outlaws to take back his place on the throne. ... just how truthful is “Outlaw King”? Heavily situated in the “Bruce as hero” camp, the poem characterizes the period between Bruce’s coronation and his victory at Bannockburn in 1314 as a journey of redemption. “Not only is Robert I trying to establish an independent Scotland, but [also] he’s facing a civil war.”, In June of 1306, he struggled to keep up with the English army in the Battle of Methven, depicted in the film. Soon enough, he was forced to flee. Synopsis OUTLAW KING tells the untold, true story of Robert the Bruce who transforms from defeated nobleman to outlaw hero during the oppressive occupation of medieval Scotland by Edward I of England. “He was reduced to being a fugitive and yet managed to restore Scotland as a fully-functioning independent kingdom. John Comyn continued battling the English until February 1304, when he negotiated peace terms that restored Scotland’s “laws, usages, customs and liberties” and provided for a representative assembly. The circumstances of the murder also led Pope Clement V to excommunicate Bruce, complicating his already uncertain path forward. When asked if he’d agree to crown his rival, Comyn “firmly replied no … so [Bruce] slaughtered him.”. Smithsonian Institution. Outnumbered and unprepared, the Scots king’s army rapidly dispersed. As Walter of Guisborough wrote around 1308, when Comyn “had confessed and was truly repentant, by the tyrant's order he was dragged out of the vestry and killed on the steps of the high altar.”. He’d arranged to meet longtime opponent John “the Red” Comyn at a priory in Dumfries in southern Scotland, ostensibly to discuss “certain business touching them both,” but quickly changed tactics, accused Comyn of treachery and struck him down. The film begins with the English siege of the Scots’ Stirling Castle in 1304, as a Warwolf — a huge medieval trebuchet — lobs boulders at the stronghold, in a motion similar to “an overarm pitch,” explains one of the film’s historical advisors Tony Pollard, Professor of Conflict History & Archaeology at the University of Glasgow (who also served as historical advisor to the TV series Outlander). Website: meilansolly.com. California Do Not Sell My Info But, though the murder of John Comyn secured his power in one way, it also made Robert the Bruce — who by then called himself King Robert I — a toxic figure in Scottish society. In fact, he says, the legendary king came to be “the guarantor of Scottish liberties” within the united realm. Never officially crowned, she died unexpectedly four years later, triggering a battle for power between claimants John Balliol and Robert the Bruce, the grandfather of the better-known Robert. 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The defeat at Falkirk marked the unofficial end of Wallace’s campaign—he resigned as Guardian of Scotland and went on the run. “Bruce deliberately picks land where the strength of the English Army can’t be brought into play,” says Pollard. His time as a fugitive is a mystery to historians. Scotland’s independence from England would be official until the two nations signed the Treaty of Edinburgh in March of 1328. But his reign didn’t last long. Still, McKenzie tells the Hollywood Reporter, “He’s a complicated hero. The film aims to depict Robert I’s military genius by highlighting the guerrilla tactics he used to overthrow the superior military force that was Edward I’s English army. Outlaw King tells the untold, true story of Robert the Bruce who transforms from defeated nobleman to outlaw hero during the oppressive occupation of medieval Scotland by Edward I … The English outnumbered Bruce’s men by 3,000 to 600, according to Barbour’s poem, but were wary to ride directly into the Scottish warriors’ spears. Oliver Cromwell conquered Scotland completely in 1650, and the Scottish and English parliaments merged in May of 1707. Edward I had actually died shortly after the battle of Loudoun Hill, but at Bannockburn, Robert I defeated his successor Edward II. (The 1995 epic Braveheart finds a younger Bruce intersecting with Mel Gibson’s William Wallace but concludes long before Bruce becomes the Scots’ leader.) But in 1297, an increasingly disillusioned Bruce shifted his allegiance to Scottish rebel William Wallace. Robert the Bruce was King of Scots from 1306 until his death in 1329. Six weeks before he seized the Scottish crown in March 1306, Robert the Bruce murdered his closest political rival. Filmed over six years, 'Bruce Lee & The Outlaw' is a modern-day Oliver Twist story … Outlaw King's end text admits that Battle of Loudoun Hill was only "a turning point" in the eventual Scottish victory for their independence. Bruce’s transformation from the much derided “King Hob,” or King Nobody, to protector of Scotland happened slowly and is more nuanced than suggested by Outlaw King, which compresses the historical timeline and tends to skirt unsavory aspects of Bruce’s personality in favor of presenting a conflicted, even reluctant ruler. As he points out, Comyn’s death alienated Bruce from his victim’s powerful family, an unwise step given the coming resumption of hostilities with England. Like in the movie, this included his mother, father and two older brothers, John and Colin. Disheartened by his military and personal losses, Bruce allegedly saw echoes of his struggle in the spider’s repeated attempts to swing itself from one corner to another. Vote Now! Bruce died on June 7, 1329, just one month shy of his 55th birthday. Outlaw King tells the tale of how Robert the Bruce became King of Scots and fought for Scotland's independence, but the film's ending only reveals part of the true story. “It’s significant because it means that he’s no longer just a fugitive,” says Broun. According to legend, he threw the casket holding Bruce’s heart ahead of him before entering the fray, declaring, “Lead on brave heart, I’ll follow thee.” Bruce’s heart was ultimately retrieved and interred at Melrose Abbey, while the rest of his body was laid to rest in the royal mausoleum at Dunfermline Abbey. Michael Brown, a historian at Scotland’s University of St. Andrews, says that Wallace is remembered as “the disinterested patriotic hero whose only concern was the liberty and protection of his fellow Scots.” Comparatively, “Bruce is a successful politician. Those who did found themselves dashed upon the ground, and as the battle drew to a close, Barbour notes that “one might hear the sound / Of shivered lances and the cry / Of wounded men in agony.”, Outlaw King concludes soon after the Battle of Loudoun Hill, content to treat this victory as a sign of the war’s changing tides (and as a proxy for the better-known Battle of Bannockburn, a 1314 meeting that saw the Scots defeat similarly superior English forces). In both the film and historical record, 1307 marks a turning point in Scotland’s drive for independence. As 15th-century chronicler Walter Bower recounts, the king targeted the Scottish city of Berwick, sparing “no one, whatever the age or sex, and for two days streams of blood flowed from the bodies of the slain … so that mills could be turned round by the flow of their blood.”. Although he’d only enjoyed one year of peacetime, the king went to his grave secure in the knowledge that Scotland’s sovereignty was safe—at least for the time being. The true story behind 2 Hearts confirms that Chris's family was by his side in the hospital during his final days. He declared himself King of Scotland. Watson summarizes Bruce’s legacy best, concluding in Traitor, Outlaw, King that it’s natural to suspect the warrior king’s motives. Bruce returned with a set of revamped guerrilla tactics that took advantage of the country’s rugged terrain. Director David McKenzie’s upcoming Netflix biopic, The Outlaw King, represents one of the first major film adaptations of Bruce’s story. Despite lacking the traditional coronation stone, diadem and scepter, all of which had transferred to England in 1296, Robert officially became King of Scots. Not a lot is known about de Burgh, and later in the year she was taken prisoner in England. The few nobles who are still swithering say, ‘Okay, the reality is Robert I is in charge.'”. So it’s perhaps fitting that, amid the ongoing political turmoil, a dramatization of his story is in theaters and becomes available for streaming on Netflix on Friday. Watson, author of Traitor, Outlaw, King, describes the soon-to-be king’s actions during this period as “incredibly duplicitous.” He’d pledged fealty to Edward I and England, but this didn’t stop him from forming a vague agreement of mutual support with the powerful Bishop of St. Andrews. Yet there’s no historical evidence Bruce was at Falkirk, nor that he directly betrayed Wallace (although he did switch sides several times in these early years). The more pivotal event was the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314. Outlaw King 2018 R 2h 1m Political Dramas In 14th-century Scotland, Robert the Bruce claims the crown and leads a fierce uprising to win back the country's independence from English rule. Like many conflicts of the medieval era, the First War of Scottish Independence began with a succession crisis. Robert I died the following year but Scotland would remain independent until James VI of Scotland inherited the kingdom of England after the death of Elizabeth I in 1603 and became James I of England. In Outlaw King, fans will get to see the Scottish war through the eyes of the king who actually led the charge and won. Streaming Nov. 9, the Netflix original Outlaw King is a true story of famed Scottish national hero Robert the Bruce, who moviegoers might remember only … Incensed, the Scots formed a separate alliance with France in 1295 and continued their subversion of English authority with a 1296 attack on the city of Carlisle. During our Outlaw King fact-check, we learned that Aonghus Óg Mac Domhnaill (Tony Curran) and James Douglas (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) are real-life Scots who fought with Robert the Bruce. But in order to rule, Robert had to eliminate the competition. After Alexander III, King of Scots, died suddenly in 1286, the throne passed to his granddaughter, three-year-old Margaret, Maid of Norway. Since his death, Wallace has obtained an iconic status far beyond his homeland. Whatever his motivations, the 21-year-old Robert marched with the English against the country he would one day rule. Hard up for cash after the invasion, having “stretched his resources to a breaking point,” Edward I tried to shake down the Scots — including seizing their wool, the country’s main export at the time, according to Dauvit Broun, a professor of Scottish History at the University of Glasgow, who wasn’t involved in the film. Increasing anxiety about the U.K.’s preparations for leaving the European Union has some Scots talking about how, in a world of Brexit, they might be able to actually pull off independence. Twists and turns all across the Scottish countryside lead this film on an epic, "true to historical events", journey that captures heroism at its core! Privacy Statement England’s intervention came with a heavy price: Edward forced the Scottish nobility to pledge fealty to him, eroding the country’s claim to sovereignty and treating Scotland much like a feudal territory. It’s uncertain what the pair actually discussed, but the near-contemporary Flores Historiarum posits that Bruce had “first secretly and then openly” begun gathering support for his claim. Get the best of Smithsonian magazine by email. And yet Robert the Bruce’s reputation as a national hero endured. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our. To be king, Robert the Bruce would have to get rid of anyone who challenged his own claim to the crown. This is where Outlaw King picks up. The younger Robert had recently served in the royal household, Michael Penman writes in Robert the Bruce: King of the Scots, and it’s possible he wanted to convince Edward that the Bruce clan had forgotten its ambitions of claiming the throne. Some 40 years after the First War of Scottish Independence, Archbishop John Barbour composed an epic retelling of the conflict. Story. In reality, the fight for independence trundled on for another 21 years, concluding only with the Treaty of Edinburgh-Northampton in March 1328. A succession crisis in Scotland had empowered Edward I. Forever cemented (erroneously) in popular imagination as a blue paint-covered kilt-wearer, Wallace is often portrayed as a more straightforward figure than his successor in the bid for Scottish independence. Robert the Bruce and his wife Elizabeth de Burgh were inaugurated King and Queen of Scots at Scone shortly after. “But he’s still only someone who controls a small region of Scotland, his home region, which is not very different from being a noble — except he claims to be king.”. In 1313, Robert demanded that all remaining supporters of John Balliol, whose family also had claim to the throne of Scotland, acknowledge the Bruce's kingship and forfeit their lands and estates. Bruce was a 14th Century … When king of Scotland, Alexander III, diedwithout a male heir in 1286 he consequently left behind a power vacuum on the throne. 17th Annual Photo Contest Finalists Announced. Titre original Outlaw King IMDb Note 6.9 53,632 votes It’s also worth noting that the peaceful independence Bruce fought for lasted just a few years, with hostilities starting up again in 1332 and continuing sporadically until the 1707 Act of Union brought England and Scotland together under the single entity of Great Britain. Three of his four brothers fell into English hands and were hung, drawn and quartered. In the weeks between killing Comyn and ascending to the throne, Bruce rallied support in southwest Scotland. As I was watching it, I was really happy, but then the climax went completely off the rails. Various contenders, including within Scotland and abroad, fought to claim his empty crown. or In the first play, the Lancasters ascend to the throne of England, as Henry Bolingbroke — later King Henry IV — deposes his cousin King Richard II. Before his death, Bruce asked longtime friend James “Black” Douglas (Outlaw King’s Aaron Taylor-Johnson plays the Scottish lord with frenetic fervor) to bring his heart on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. As Comyn lay bleeding at the foot of the shrine, Bruce retreated, giving the friars a chance to tend to the fallen man’s wounds. By this point, Edward I was long gone—he died in July 1307, leaving his infamously inept son Edward II in control—and it was his grandson Edward III, newly ascended to the throne in place of his deposed father, who actually agreed to Bruce’s terms. Netflix’s new sword-swinging epic Outlaw King tells the “untold true story” of Robert the Bruce (played by Chris Pine). The image of Bruce as model king and consummate defender of Scotland endures to this day, but the man behind the myth is harder to pinpoint: Whereas predecessor William Wallace is, according to Watson, “an archpatriot,” Bruce is a figure whose early years were marked by murder at the high altar, shifting loyalties and a string of military failures. Outlaw King had a lot of promise. Reading Time: 7 minutes How a cave spider could had changed the destiny of Robert the Bruce, King of Scotland, and the fate of a nation? Declared a fugitive for both his sacrilege and breach of fealty, Bruce had little to lose by going one step further and seizing the crown. Continue He issued demands to Edward I, promising to “defend himself with the longest stick that he had” if they went unmet, and received absolution for his sins from the Bishop of Glasgow. “Outlaw King” tells a story that is both old and old-fashioned but does it in a decidedly modern way. In doing so, he created a model of Scottish warfare that lasted long beyond his fight. This tangled web of alliances culminated in that deadly February 10, 1306, meeting between Bruce and Comyn, the two main contenders for the Scottish throne. The Bruces of Scotland were originally “de Bruses” of N… Keep up-to-date on: © 2020 Smithsonian Magazine. So the most famous and most important battle in Robert the Bruce’s career came even later, after the period of time covered by the film. Edward sent Aymer de Valence, Comyn’s brother-in-law, to crush the rebellion. The story, based of a true event, is very engaging, and the film does a great job at making you route for Robert Bruce. But Robert I took the view that if he was going to win, it was only going to be because he had the support of the people, so he didn’t need castles.”. “[Bruce] was utterly consistent, utterly ruthless and utterly convinced that he should be the king of Scots,” she says, arguing that his ever-changing allegiances reflected, in his point of view, an “entirely consistent” means of achieving this singular goal. Yes. There’s debate about whether Robert the Bruce killed Comyn himself or whether accomplices did, but he’s thought to have been in on it — and in the film, he’s depicted as murdering John “The Red” Comyn himself, which is what many people think happened. But whether this hinders Outlaw King’s ability to capture Bruce’s transformation, in the words of historian Fiona Watson—author of the newly released Traitor, Outlaw, King: The Making of Robert Bruce—from someone “incredibly inept” to someone “quite extraordinary” is another issue entirely. But the motivations behind the act remain as mired in uncertainty as the legacy of the warrior king himself. Cowritten and directed by David Mackenzie, it gives hope to … William Shakespeare’s famed Henriad plays, loosely based on events that took place during the 15th century, span from Richard II to Henry IV, Parts 1 and II, and Henry V. The plays chronicle the rise of the Lancaster branch of England’s House of Plantagenet in the 15th century, with a focus on politics and diplomacy, war and betrayal. All Rights Reserved. Unfortunately, the ever-restless Douglas stopped to support Spain’s Alfonso XI in his campaign against the Moors and was killed in battle. Advertising Notice His girlfriend was also present. After Balliol sought an alliance with France, England’s enemy back then, Edward I himself came back to invade Scotland and drive out Balliol in 1296. “He had to improvise constantly and had to work really hard to be king, as opposed to being born into it and not having to struggle for it.”. “But,” she concludes, “we cannot deny his achievements.”. Outlaw King 2018 MA 15+ 2h 1m Political Dramas In 14th-century Scotland, Robert the Bruce claims the crown and leads a fierce uprising to win back the country's independence from English rule. In 1292, he picked Balliol. That’s when Robert the Bruce decided that enough was enough. Cookie Policy “He’s basically an outlaw and the English are trying to bring him to book,” says Pollard. There were no heirs to the Scottish throne left after the death of the King of Scots Alexander III in 1286, so the Scottish nobility put together a committee of guardians to keep the government running. By signing up you are agreeing to our, What to Know About India's Farmer Protests, The True Story Behind David Fincher's New Movie 'MANK', Sign up to receive the top stories you need to know now on politics, health and more, © 2020 TIME USA, LLC. “The most powerful nobles of Scotland treat him as a terrorist,” says Broun. He’s one of the one percent. As a result, John Balliol became King of Scotland in 1292. “Nobody knows where he went when he was fugitive, but it looks like he thought hard about strategy,” says Broun. So those crimes are ones that Bruce has to expunge from his soul by his … struggles and his suffering.”. As Brown explains, the story is mainly cited to reflect how Wallace’s failure inspired Bruce’s later success: “[There’s] the idea of Wallace standing in for Bruce in a sense, but Bruce failing to perform that [leadership] role at that stage.”. Is Outlaw King based on a true story? This makes his achievement even more remarkable,” Broun says. OUTLAW KING tells the untold, true story of Robert the Bruce who transforms from defeated nobleman to outlaw hero during the oppressive occupation of medieval Scotland by Edward I … When the spider finally succeeded, it inspired Bruce to launch a second wave of rebellion. Alternately painted as a patriot whose perseverance secured his nation’s independence and a more shadowy figure with dangerous ambitions and a tenuous sense of allegiance, Bruce remains one of Scottish history’s most controversial characters, and one of the few whose name is easily recognized by non-Scots. During these early stages of the war, Bruce and his father Robert sided with the English. The True Story of Robert the Bruce, Scotland’s ‘Outlaw King’ Chris Pine stars as the Netflix film’s eponymous hero, who secures his country’s independence but … Two of the most powerful contenders were “Robert the Competitor,” who was the grandfather of Robert the Bruce, and John Balliol, who was endorsed by England. You can unsubscribe at any time. The Scots also had a home turf advantage in terms of navigating the boggy, marshy battlegrounds. As Fiona Watson writes in Robert the Bruce, the newly confident commander ordered three trenches dug at right angles to the road, ensuring that only a limited number of cavalry would be able to reach the Scots ensconced within. The following year his wife and daughters were imprisoned and three of his brothers were … Bruce barely evaded capture, and over the next several months, he experienced a string of personal tragedies. Prior to the battle, Bruce surveyed the area and concocted a plan to restrict the movements of de Valence’s horsemen, who would otherwise overwhelm the Scottish spearmen fighting on foot. Give a Gift. Winner: Outlaw King, despite a contrived battlefield duel … He’s not an easy hero to go, ‘He’s our folk guy.’”. Chris Pine as Robert the Bruce in Outlaw King. Outlaw King is one of the most visually breathtaking films of 2018, the cinematography, the set pieces, costume designs, are absolutely perfect. Bruce proclaimed his right to the throne and on 27 March 1306, was crowned king on Moot Hill at Scone Abbey in Perthshire. Trapped in a stalemate, the Scots asked England’s Edward I (played in Outlaw King by Stephen Dillane) to choose their nation’s next ruler. He resolved that every castle he took he would destroy because he reckoned that, for the King of England to win, he would need to garrison Scotland, and you can’t do that unless you’ve got castles. Outlaw King tells the untold, true story of Robert the Bruce who transforms from defeated nobleman to outlaw hero during the oppressive occupation of medieval Scotland by Edward I … Forced into exile by the English after being crowned King of Scotland, legendary warrior Robert the Bruce fights to reclaim the throne. The murder—described by the English the following year as “outrageous sacrilege inhumanly committed against God and the holy Church”—placed Bruce on a collision course with Scotland’s imposing neighbor, England. On March 25, 1306, he was invested with the Scottish kingship in a surprisingly elaborate ceremony held at Scone Abbey. At that time, most of Scotland’s castles were already occupied by English garrisons, and the King of England, Edward I, was flexing his power as overlord of Scotland and demanding the Scottish elites give him their fealty. The following month, the Scots faced off with de Valence once again, this time at Loudoun Hill. “[Robert the Bruce] comes close to being captured and beaten.”. In August 1305, Wallace was captured in Robroyston, near Glasgow, and handed over to King Edward I of England, who had him hanged, drawn and quartered for high treason and crimes against English civilians. Summaries A true David vs. Goliath story of how the 14th century Scottish 'Outlaw King' Robert the Bruce used cunning and bravery to defeat the much larger and better equipped occupying English army. Starring Chris Pine as the titular character, Outlaw King picks up roughly where Braveheart left off, chronicling Wallace’s downfall, Bruce’s subsequent rise and the middle years of the First War of Scottish Independence. The story of Robert The Bruce launching a guerrilla war against the English army in the early 14th-century is as epic and complicated as they come. After being declared "Outlaw" by the occupying English Empire, Robert the Bruce (Chris Pine) raises an army of Scottish fighters in rebellion. One aspect of that involved creating what Pollard calls a “human porcupine” of sorts, with hundreds of men in one big group holding nearly 20-foot-long spears straight out in front of them. So it’s perhaps fitting that, amid the ongoing political turmoil, a dramatization of his story is in theaters and becomes available for streaming on Netflix on Friday. Elizabeth de Burgh is said to have been returned to Robert I after the battle as part of a prisoner exchange. Despite the spider legend’s suspect origins, Michael Brown says the story exemplifies Bruce’s reputation as a “model of perseverance.” This tenacity also forms an undercurrent of The Outlaw King, which finds its protagonist declaring himself “done with running and … sick of hiding.”. At a certain point, Michael Penman writes in Robert the Bruce, it becomes difficult to trace the Scottish king’s movements. “He stayed out of a battle until he knew he’d have a better chance of winning, and that was controversial because kings were meant to be military heroes. Brown offers a more sympathetic reading that attributes the act of “unpremeditated violence” to personal antagonism between Bruce and Comyn. 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Of “ unpremeditated violence ” to personal antagonism between Bruce and his father Robert with. And the English are trying to bring him to book, ” says Broun concludes, “ he fugitive...

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