Weird History

The Coolest Things You Wish Were True About The Middle Ages

Fantasy novels, films, and TV shows set in pseudo-medieval times don't have to be historically accurate. That's part of the fun: shows like Game of Thrones mix together different time periods to make a unique world that viewers want to spend time in (especially when you toss in dragons and killer smoke babies). But shows like GoT have helped to spread plenty of medieval myths that need debunking.

The actual Middle Ages spanned the years from around 500 to 1500 AD. That is a huge stretch of time! Common Middle Ages myths (such as the idea that there was rampant witch hunting) are typically born because people confuse the Middle Ages with later time periods (and Hollywood doing the same doesn't help matters). There are also myths born from botched translations (Vikings drinking from skulls), myths that overemphasized the proliferation of booze, and myths that were spread in order to slander religion (the Church thinking the world was flat).

But most of these myths also have one thing in common: they help make the real Middle Ages sound as cool and dangerous as GoT's fictional Westeros. Happily, the real historical period is still fascinating even after you debunk the many misconceptions people have about it.

Enjoy this list of some of the coolest things - that simply aren't true - about the Middle Ages.