Tristan & Isolde

Tristan & Isolde (2006)

Factual error: The poem Isolde recites, John Donne's "The Good-Morrow", is a 17th-century work, which is centuries later than the movie's time period.

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Revealing mistake: In the scene where Tristan and Isolde have their first secret talk in the market, when the camera is on Isolde, you can see that she is wearing contacts.

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Factual error: In the scene where Tristan is making his return from Ireland and the crowd is gathering around him there are two hens in the foreground. One is a Rhode Island Red and the other is a Black Plymouth Rock. Both of these are American breeds of chicken and did not appear until many hundreds of years after this film is set.

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More mistakes in Tristan & Isolde


Isolde: How many have you loved before me?
Tristan: None.
Isolde: And after me?
Tristan: None.

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Tristan: I don't know if life is greater than death, but love was greater than either.

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Question: When Isolde asks Tristan "how many have you loved before me and after me" does she mean how many he had slept with or how many he had loved?

Chosen answer: Both or either. Basically what she's asking is, "Are you really mine and no one else's?"

Question: This is a strange question, but is it possible that Isolde could sleep with both the King and Tristan so many times and not get pregnant? Was there any kind of birth control at this time?

Chosen answer: Yes, it's entirely possible. Even in this day and age, with our relatively detailed knowledge of the processes and timing involved, couples trying for children can sometimes try for months or even years before a successful conception.

Tailkinker

Question: Does anyone know if makeup/cosmetics or other beauty practices, such as women plucking eyebrows and facial hair, existed during this time period? I know that this is just a movie and the actresses are supposed to look attractive, but I'm curious if it would have really been around back then.

Chosen answer: The historical sources from the time in question are scant - it's not called "the dark age" for nothing. Having said that, beauty practices like plucking eyebrows and make-up have existed since ancient times. We can safely assume that there were certain ideals of beauty, and ladies of all times strove to meet them. These ideals have changed frequently over the times, so plucked eyebrows may or may not have been the fashion in early medieaval Britain.

Ioreth

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