Braveheart

Factual error: Some more errors about Princess Isabella: at the height of William Wallace's rebellion Edward I sends her as an ambassador to negotiate with Wallace (and spy on the Scots) instead she falls in love with Wallace. Princess Isabella was born in 1292: Wallace's rebellion was at its height during 1297-8, so she could have been no more than 6 at the time. (Somebody else has already observed that she was only 13 at the time of Wallace's execution.) Isabella's first language would (obviously) have been French, a 13th century Scotsman would speak either a heavily accented Scottish version of English, or Scots Gaelic, but Isabella has no communication difficulties in Scotland. The Wallace-Isabella affair is also absurd, since it is implausible that, at the height of a war, an unaccompanied young woman, let alone a princess engaged to the heir to the throne of England, would be sent into the heart of a war zone as an envoy and a spy.

Rob Halliday
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Suggested correction: Her age has already been marked as an error. As someone well travelled, Wallace knew several languages and as an educated princess, Isabella would have likely known several (and this could all simply be a translation convention). And the king admits that he knew of the danger, and hoped that if Wallace or his men killed her, her father the King of France would help him defeat the Scottish rebellion.

Greg Dwyer

I concede most of your points, and, as you observe, if Isabella and Wallace can converse, this is 'translation convention'. Another error in the film that has already been marked: while the historical Wallace was a minor nobleman, Braveheart shows him as a common man, with no aristocratic or upper class traits, so the Isabella-Wallace romance forms a stock element of many romantic stories, a princess or prince defying social convention to fall in love with a lower class man or woman, entertaining as a story, but implausible in reality. And I think we agree that Isabella was only 6 at the time of Wallace's rebellion, so, in reality, she would have been far too young to have been involved in events.

Rob Halliday

First, both historical inaccuracies and things that you consider unlikely are not mistakes. Second, history is riddled with accounts of nobles having affairs with commoners and slaves.

Greg Dwyer

Continuity mistake: In a major fight scene two soldiers on opposite sides are jumping and spinning and tapping each other on the head with their swords.

More mistakes in Braveheart

Princess Isabelle: I understand you have recently been given the rank of knight.
William Wallace: I have been given nothing. God makes men what they are.

More quotes from Braveheart

Trivia: Perhaps you're wondering what William Wallace shouts after delivering his speech just prior to the Battle of Stirling. It's "Alba gu brath," which means "Scotland forever."

More trivia for Braveheart

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