When did the fictional King Godred in Thomas the Tank Engine live?
January 23, 2017 9:56 PM   Subscribe

Based on the costumes, armour and architecture in the animation between 4:30 and 5:30 in this video, roughly when did the fictional King Godred depicted in the Thomas and Friends movie "King of the Railway" live?
posted by TheophileEscargot to Media & Arts (4 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
11th-12th century, I'd say. There's a heavy Bayeux/Book of Kells flavour about it but I think that style of castle comes slightly later.
posted by HypotheticalWoman at 10:00 PM on January 23, 2017 [1 favorite]

Armour: full plate armour (4:42 in video) was developed Late Middle Ages (15th century) and reached its peak late 15th and early 16th centuries. A knight in full plate wouldn't have carried a huge kite shield like that as the armour made it obsolete (if they did have a shield it would have been much smaller).

Castle: I'm no expert but it looks like a keep with no bailey or concentric defences. That design could be from something like 12th-13th century? Compare these examples (1, 2, 3, 4) all from that period.

Ship: The ship in the background is fully-rigged and so dates from mid-19th century, maybe up to 150 years earlier.

My theory is that the king ruled over a remote island which only recently came into contact with the outside world. Traders came to sell him advanced armour (full plate 200 years more advanced than they otherwise had but useless antiques as far as the traders were concerned) but not anything more dangerous (a 19th century ship obviously would have had cannon and firearms).
He "protected the island from invaders", i.e. he pretended that he chased off the heavily-armed merchant ship which was leaving anyway, to distract the populace from the fact he'd spent the nation's fortune on all that armour.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 2:01 AM on January 24, 2017 [9 favorites]

Thanks for this!

I'd like the remote island theory but it doesn't quite fit with TTTE canon: the Island of Sodor is located where the Isle of Man is in the real world, and is linked to the British mainland by the Vicarstown Bridge.

The only headcanon I can come up with is that King Godred was an 18th or 19th century antiquarian. He rebuilt a 13th century castle incorporating ionic columns from an older or newer building; and fought mock battles using a mixture of Norman-style helmets and kite shields, and 15th century armour. The "invaders" were rival reenactors from the mainland. It would also explain why the stolen crown is just sitting in a chest on the standard gauge rail tracks in the mine.

King Godred would be a bit like King Ludwig of Bavaria: a 19th century eccentric whose fantasies became tourist attractions in their own right.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 3:51 AM on January 25, 2017 [3 favorites]

Perhaps the opposite of EndsOfInvention's answer is true: Maybe all of the advanced technology (the ships and full-plate amour) were developed on Sodor first and didn't reach the rest of the world until centuries later, and that's why Godred was so successful at defending the island.
posted by clawsoon at 7:46 AM on January 25, 2017 [1 favorite]

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