A knight is a man granted an honorary title of knighthood by a monarch, bishop or other political or religious leader for service to the monarch or a Christian church, especially in a military capacity.
Historically, in Europe, knighthood was conferred upon mounted warriors. During the High Middle Ages, knighthood was considered a class of lower nobility. By the Late Middle Ages, the rank had become associated with the ideals of chivalry, a code of conduct for the perfect courtly Christian warrior. Often, a knight was a vassal who served as an elite fighter, a bodyguard or a mercenary for a lord, with payment in the form of land holdings. The lords trusted the knights, who were skilled in battle on horseback. Knighthood in the Middle Ages was closely linked with horsemanship (and especially the joust) from its origins in the 12th century until its final flowering as a fashion among the high nobility in the Duchy of Burgundy in the 15th century. This linkage is reflected in the etymology of chivalry, cavalier and related terms. The special prestige accorded to mounted warriors in Christendom finds a parallel in the furusiyya in the Muslim world, and the Greek hippeis (ἱππεῖς) and Roman eques of classical antiquity.
In the late medieval period, new methods of warfare began to render classical knights in armour obsolete, but the titles remained in many nations. The ideals of chivalry were popularized in medieval literature, particularly the literary cycles known as the Matter of France, relating to the legendary companions of Charlemagne and his men-at-arms, the paladins, and the Matter of Britain, relating to the legend of King Arthur and his knights of the Round Table.
Today, a number of orders of knighthood continue to exist in Christian Churches, as well as in several historically Christian countries and their former territories, such as the Roman Catholic Order of the Holy Sepulchre and Order of Malta, the Protestant Order of Saint John, as well as the English Order of the Garter, the Swedish Royal Order of the Seraphim, and the Royal Norwegian Order of St. Olav. Each of these orders has its own criteria for eligibility, but knighthood is generally granted by a head of state, monarch, or prelate to selected persons to recognise some meritorious achievement, as in the British honours system, often for service to the Church or country. The modern female equivalent in the United Kingdom is Dame.
The word knight, from Old English cniht ("boy" or "servant"), is a cognate of the German word Knecht ("servant, bondsman, vassal"). This meaning, of unknown origin, is common among West Germanic languages (cf Old Frisian kniucht, Dutch knecht, Danish knægt, Swedish knekt, Norwegian knekt, Middle High German kneht, all meaning "boy, youth, lad"). Middle High German had the phrase guoter kneht, which also meant knight; but this meaning was in decline by about 1200.
The meaning of cniht changed over time from its original meaning of "boy" to "household retainer". Ælfric's homily of St. Swithun describes a mounted retainer as a cniht. While cnihtas might have fought alongside their lords, their role as household servants features more prominently in the Anglo-Saxon texts. In several Anglo-Saxon wills cnihtas are left either money or lands. In his will, King Æthelstan leaves his cniht, Aelfmar, eight hides of land.
A rādcniht, "riding-servant", was a servant on horseback.
A narrowing of the generic meaning "servant" to "military follower of a king or other superior" is visible by 1100. The specific military sense of a knight as a mounted warrior in the heavy cavalry emerges only in the Hundred Years' War. The verb "to knight" (to make someone a knight) appears around 1300; and, from the same time, the word "knighthood" shifted from "adolescence" to "rank or dignity of a knight".
An Equestrian (Latin, from eques "horseman", from equus "horse") was a member of the second highest social class in the Roman Republic and early Roman Empire. This class is often translated as "knight"; the medieval knight, however, was called miles in Latin (which in classical Latin meant "soldier", normally infantry).
In the later Roman Empire, the classical Latin word for horse, equus, was replaced in common parlance by the vulgar Latin caballus, sometimes thought to derive from Gaulish caballos. From caballus arose terms in the various Romance languages cognate with the (French-derived) English cavalier: Italian cavaliere, Spanish caballero, French chevalier (whence chivalry), Portuguese cavaleiro, and Romanian cavaler. The Germanic languages have terms cognate with the English rider: German Ritter, and Dutch and Scandinavian ridder. These words are derived from Germanic rīdan, "to ride", in turn derived from the Proto-Indo-European root reidh-.
In ancient Rome there was a knightly class Ordo Equestris (order of mounted nobles). Some portions of the armies of Germanic peoples who occupied Europe from the 3rd century AD onward had been mounted, and some armies, such as those of the Ostrogoths, were mainly cavalry. However, it was the Franks who generally fielded armies composed of large masses of infantry, with an infantry elite, the comitatus, which often rode to battle on horseback rather than marching on foot. When the armies of the Frankish ruler Charles Martel defeated the Umayyad Arab invasion at the Battle of Tours in 732, the Frankish forces were still largely infantry armies, with elites riding to battle but dismounting to fight.
In the Early Medieval period any well-equipped horseman could be described as a knight, or miles in Latin. The first knights appeared during the reign of Charlemagne in the 8th century. As the Carolingian Age progressed, the Franks were generally on the attack, and larger numbers of warriors took to their horses to ride with the Emperor in his wide-ranging campaigns of conquest. At about this time the Franks increasingly remained on horseback to fight on the battlefield as true cavalry rather than mounted infantry, with the discovery of the stirrup, and would continue to do so for centuries afterwards. Although in some nations the knight returned to foot combat in the 14th century, the association of the knight with mounted combat with a spear, and later a lance, remained a strong one. The older Carolingian ceremony of presenting a young man with weapons influenced the emergence of knighthood ceremonies, in which a noble would be ritually given weapons and declared to be a knight, usually amid some festivities.
These mobile mounted warriors made Charlemagne's far-flung conquests possible, and to secure their service he rewarded them with grants of land called benefices. These were given to the captains directly by the Emperor to reward their efforts in the conquests, and they in turn were to grant benefices to their warrior contingents, who were a mix of free and unfree men. In the century or so following Charlemagne's death, his newly empowered warrior class grew stronger still, and Charles the Bald declared their fiefs to be hereditary. The period of chaos in the 9th and 10th centuries, between the fall of the Carolingian central authority and the rise of separate Western and Eastern Frankish kingdoms (later to become France and Germany respectively) only entrenched this newly landed warrior class. This was because governing power and defense against Viking, Magyar and Saracen attack became an essentially local affair which revolved around these new hereditary local lords and their demesnes.
In the course of the 12th century knighthood became a social rank, with a distinction being made between milites gregarii (non-noble cavalrymen) and milites nobiles (true knights). As the term "knight" became increasingly confined to denoting a social rank, the military role of fully armoured cavalryman gained a separate term, "man-at-arms". Although any medieval knight going to war would automatically serve as a man-at-arms, not all men-at-arms were knights. The first military orders of knighthood were those of the Knights Hospitallers and of the Holy Sepulchre, both founded at the First Crusade of 1099, followed by the Order of Saint Lazarus (1100), Knights Templars (1118) and the Teutonic Knights (1190). At the time of their foundation, these were intended as monastic orders, whose members would act as simple soldiers protecting pilgrims. It was only over the following century, with the successful conquest of the Holy Land and the rise of the crusader states, that these orders became powerful and prestigious.
The great European legends of warriors such as the paladins, the Matter of France and the Matter of Britain popularized the notion of chivalry among the warrior class. The ideal of chivalry as the ethos of the Christian warrior, and the transmutation of the term "knight" from the meaning "servant, soldier", and of chevalier "mounted soldier", to refer to a member of this ideal class, is significantly influenced by the Crusades, on one hand inspired by the military orders of monastic warriors, and on the other hand also cross-influenced by Islamic (Saracen) ideals of furusiyya.
The institution of knights was already well-established by the 10th century. While the knight was essentially a title denoting a military office, the term could also be used for positions of higher nobility such as landholders. The higher nobles grant the vassals their portions of land (fiefs) in return for their loyalty, protection, and service. The nobles also provided their knights with necessities, such as lodging, food, armour, weapons, horses, and money. The knight generally held his lands by military tenure which was measured through military service that usually lasted 40 days a year. The military service was the quid pro quo for each knight's fief. Vassals and lords could maintain any number of knights, although knights with more military experience were those most sought after. Thus, all petty nobles intending to become prosperous knights needed a great deal of military experience. A knight fighting under another's banner was called a knight bachelor while a knight fighting under his own banner was a knight banneret.
A knight had to be born of nobility – typically sons of knights or lords. In some cases commoners could also be knighted as a reward for extraordinary military service. Children of the nobility were cared for by noble foster-mothers in castles until they reached age seven.
The seven-year-old boys were given the title of page and turned over to the care of the castle's lords. They were placed on an early training regime of hunting with huntsmen and falconers, and academic studies with priests or chaplains. Pages then become assistants to older knights in battle, carrying and cleaning armour, taking care of the horses, and packing the baggage. They would accompany the knights on expeditions, even into foreign lands. Older pages were instructed by knights in swordsmanship, equestrianism, chivalry, warfare, and combat (but using wooden swords and spears).
When the boy turned 15, he became a squire. In a religious ceremony, the new squire swore on a sword consecrated by a bishop or priest, and attended to assigned duties in his lord's household. During this time the squires continued training in combat and were allowed to own armour (rather than borrowing it).
Squires were required to master the “seven points of agilities” – riding, swimming and diving, shooting different types of weapons, climbing, participation in tournaments, wrestling, fencing, long jumping, and dancing – the prerequisite skills for knighthood. All of these were even performed while wearing armour.
Upon turning 21, the squire was eligible to be knighted.
The accolade or knighting ceremony was usually held during one of the great feasts or holidays, like Christmas or Easter, and sometimes at the wedding of a noble or royal. The knighting ceremony usually involved a ritual bath on the eve of the ceremony and a prayer vigil during the night. On the day of the ceremony, the would-be knight would swear an oath and the master of the ceremony would dub the new knight on the shoulders with a sword. Squires, and even soldiers, could also be conferred direct knighthood early if they showed valor and efficiency for their service; such acts may include deploying for an important quest or mission, or protecting a high diplomat or a royal relative in battle.
Knights were expected, above all, to fight bravely and to display military professionalism and courtesy. When knights were taken as prisoners of war, they were customarily held for ransom in somewhat comfortable surroundings. This same standard of conduct did not apply to non-knights (archers, peasants, foot-soldiers, etc.) who were often slaughtered after capture, and who were viewed during battle as mere impediments to knights' getting to other knights to fight them.
Chivalry developed as an early standard of professional ethics for knights, who were relatively affluent horse owners and were expected to provide military services in exchange for landed property. Early notions of chivalry entailed loyalty to one's liege lord and bravery in battle, similar to the values of the Heroic Age. During the Middle Ages, this grew from simple military professionalism into a social code including the values of gentility, nobility and treating others reasonably. In The Song of Roland (c. 1100), Roland is portrayed as the ideal knight, demonstrating unwavering loyalty, military prowess and social fellowship. In Wolfram von Eschenbach's Parzival (c. 1205), chivalry had become a blend of religious duties, love and military service. Ramon Llull's Book of the Order of Chivalry (1275) demonstrates that by the end of the 13th century, chivalry entailed a litany of very specific duties, including riding warhorses, jousting, attending tournaments, holding Round Tables and hunting, as well as aspiring to the more æthereal virtues of "faith, hope, charity, justice, strength, moderation and loyalty."
Knights of the late medieval era were expected by society to maintain all these skills and many more, as outlined in Baldassare Castiglione's The Book of the Courtier, though the book's protagonist, Count Ludovico, states the "first and true profession" of the ideal courtier "must be that of arms." Chivalry, derived from the French word chevalier ('cavalier'), simultaneously denoted skilled horsemanship and military service, and these remained the primary occupations of knighthood throughout the Middle Ages.
Chivalry and religion were mutually influenced during the period of the Crusades. The early Crusades helped to clarify the moral code of chivalry as it related to religion. As a result, Christian armies began to devote their efforts to sacred purposes. As time passed, clergy instituted religious vows which required knights to use their weapons chiefly for the protection of the weak and defenseless, especially women and orphans, and of churches.
In peacetime, knights often demonstrated their martial skills in tournaments, which usually took place on the grounds of a castle. Knights can parade their armour and banner to the whole court as the tournament commenced. Medieval tournaments were made up of martial sports called hastiludes, and were not only a major spectator sport but also played as a real combat simulation. It usually ended with many knights either injured or even killed. One contest was a free-for-all battle called a melee, where large groups of knights numbering hundreds assembled and fought one another, and the last knight standing was the winner. The most popular and romanticized contest for knights was the joust. In this competition, two knights charge each other with blunt wooden lances in an effort to break their lance on the opponent's head or body or unhorse them completely. The loser in these tournaments had to turn his armour and horse over to the victor. The last day was filled with feasting, dancing and minstrel singing.
Besides formal tournaments, they were also unformalized judicial duels done by knights and squires to end various disputes. Countries like Germany, Britain and Ireland practiced this tradition. Judicial combat was of two forms in medieval society, the feat of arms and chivalric combat. The feat of arms were done to settle hostilities between two large parties and supervised by a judge. The chivalric combat was fought when one party's honor was disrespected or challenged and the conflict could not be resolved in court. Weapons were standardized and must be of the same caliber. The duel lasted until the other party was too weak to fight back and in early cases, the defeated party were then subsequently executed. Examples of these brutal duels were the judicial combat known as the Combat of the Thirty in 1351, and the trial by combat fought by Jean de Carrouges in 1386. A far more chivalric duel which became popular in the Late Middle Ages was the pas d'armes or "passage of arms". In this hastilude, a knight or a group of knights would claim a bridge, lane or city gate, and challenge other passing knights to fight or be disgraced. If a lady passed unescorted, she would leave behind a glove or scarf, to be rescued and returned to her by a future knight who passed that way.
One of the greatest distinguishing marks of the knightly class was the flying of coloured banners, to display power and to distinguish knights in battle and in tournaments. Knights are generally armigerous (bearing a coat of arms), and indeed they played an essential role in the development of heraldry. As heavier armour, including enlarged shields and enclosed helmets, developed in the Middle Ages, the need for marks of identification arose, and with coloured shields and surcoats, coat armoury was born. Armourial rolls were created to record the knights of various regions or those who participated in various tournaments.
Knights and the ideals of knighthood featured largely in medieval and Renaissance literature, and have secured a permanent place in literary romance. While chivalric romances abound, particularly notable literary portrayals of knighthood include The Song of Roland, Cantar de Mio Cid, The Twelve of England, Geoffrey Chaucer's The Knight's Tale, Baldassare Castiglione's The Book of the Courtier, and Miguel de Cervantes' Don Quixote, as well as Sir Thomas Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur and other Arthurian tales (Geoffrey of Monmouth's Historia Regum Britanniae, the Pearl Poet's Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, etc.).
Geoffrey of Monmouth's Historia Regum Britanniae (History of the Kings of Britain), written in the 1130s, introduced the legend of King Arthur, which was to be important to the development of chivalric ideals in literature. Sir Thomas Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur (The Death of Arthur), written in 1485, was important in defining the ideal of chivalry, which is essential to the modern concept of the knight, as an elite warrior sworn to uphold the values of faith, loyalty, courage, and honour.
Instructional literature was also created. Geoffroi de Charny's "Book of Chivalry" expounded upon the importance of Christian faith in every area of a knight's life, though still laying stress on the primarily military focus of knighthood.
In the early Renaissance greater emphasis is laid upon courtliness. The ideal courtier—the chivalrous knight—of Baldassarre Castiglione's The Book of the Courtier became a model of the ideal virtues of nobility. Castiglione's tale took the form of a discussion among the nobility of the court of the Duke of Urbino, in which the characters determine that the ideal knight should be renowned not only for his bravery and prowess in battle, but also as a skilled dancer, athlete, singer and orator, and he should also be well-read in the humanities and classical Greek and Latin literature.
Later Renaissance literature, such as Miguel de Cervantes's Don Quixote, rejected the code of chivalry as unrealistic idealism. The rise of Christian humanism in Renaissance literature demonstrated a marked departure from the chivalric romance of late medieval literature, and the chivalric ideal ceased to influence literature over successive centuries until it saw some pockets of revival in post-Victorian literature.
By the end of the 15th century, knights were becoming obsolete as countries started creating their own professional armies that were quicker to train, cheaper and easier to mobilize. The advancement of high-powered firearms eradicated the use of plate armour, as the time it took to train soldiers with guns was much less compared to that of the knight. The cost of equipment was also significantly lower, and guns had a reasonable chance to easily penetrate a knight's armour. In the 14th century the use of infantrymen armed with pikes and fighting in close formation also proved effective against heavy cavalry, such as during the Battle of Nancy, when Charles the Bold and his armoured cavalry were decimated by Swiss pikemen. As the feudal system came to an end, lords saw no further use of knights. Many landowners found the duties of knighthood too expensive and so contented themselves with the use of squires. Mercenaries also became an economic alternative to knights when conflicts arose.
Armies of the time started adopting a more realistic approach to warfare than the honor-bound code of chivalry. Soon, the remaining knights were absorbed into professional armies. Although they had a higher rank than most soldiers because of their valuable lineage, they lost their distinctive identity that previously set them apart from common soldiers. As the age of knights dissolved, some still survived as knightly orders who still exist even by the end of the Medieval Age. They adopted newer technology while still retaining their age-old chivalric traditions. Examples of holy orders that existed beyond the Middle Ages were the Knights Hospitaller and Teutonic Knights.
After the Crusades, the military orders became idealized and romanticized, resulting in the late medieval notion of chivalry, as reflected in the Arthurian romances of the time. The creation of chivalric orders was fashionable among the nobility in the 14th and 15th centuries, and this is still reflected in contemporary honours systems, including the term order itself. Examples of notable orders of chivalry are:
From roughly 1560, purely honorific orders were established, as a way to confer prestige and distinction, unrelated to military service and chivalry in the more narrow sense. Such orders were particularly popular in the 17th and 18th centuries, and knighthood continues to be conferred in various countries:
There are other monarchies and also republics that also follow this practice. Modern knighthoods are typically conferred in recognition for services rendered to society, which are not necessarily martial in nature. The British musician Elton John, for example, is a Knight Bachelor, thus entitled to be called Sir Elton. The female equivalent is a Dame, for example Dame Julie Andrews.
In the United Kingdom, honorific knighthood may be conferred in two different ways:
The first is by membership of one of the pure Orders of Chivalry such as the Order of the Garter, the Order of the Thistle and the dormant Order of Saint Patrick, of which all members are knighted. In addition, many British Orders of Merit, namely the Order of the Bath, the Order of St Michael and St George, the Royal Victorian Order and the Order of the British Empire are part of the British honours system, and the award of their highest ranks (Knight/Dame Commander and Knight/Dame Grand Cross), comes together with an honorific knighthood, making them a cross between orders of chivalry and orders of merit. By contrast, membership of other British Orders of Merit, such as the Distinguished Service Order, the Order of Merit and the Order of the Companions of Honour does not confer a knighthood.
The second is being granted honorific knighthood by the British sovereign without membership of an order, the recipient being called Knight Bachelor.
In the British honours system the knightly style of Sir is accompanied by the given name, and optionally the surname. So, Elton John may be called Sir Elton or Sir Elton John, but never Sir John. Similarly, actress Judi Dench DBE may be addressed as Dame Judi or Dame Judi Dench, but never Dame Dench.
Wives of knights, however, are entitled to the honorific pre-nominal "Lady" before their husband's surname. Thus Sir Paul McCartney's ex-wife was formally styled Lady McCartney (rather than Lady Paul McCartney or Lady Heather McCartney). The style Dame Heather McCartney could be used for the wife of a knight; however, this style is largely archaic and is only used in the most formal of documents, or where the wife is a Dame in her own right (such as Dame Norma Major, who gained her title six years before her husband Sir John Major was knighted). The husbands of Dames have no honorific pre-nominal, so Dame Norma's husband remained John Major until he received his own knighthood.
Since the reign of Edward VII a clerk in holy orders in the Church of England has not normally received the accolade on being appointed to a degree of knighthood. He receives the insignia of his honour and may place the appropriate letters after his name or title but he may not be called Sir and his wife may not be called Lady. This custom is not observed in Australia and New Zealand, where knighted Anglican clergymen routinely use the title "Sir". Ministers of other Christian Churches are entitled to receive the accolade. For example, Sir Norman Cardinal Gilroy did receive the accolade on his appointment as Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in 1969. A knight who is subsequently ordained does not lose his title. A famous example of this situation was The Revd Sir Derek Pattinson, who was ordained just a year after he was appointed Knight Bachelor, apparently somewhat to the consternation of officials at Buckingham Palace. A woman clerk in holy orders may be made a Dame in exactly the same way as any other woman since there are no military connotations attached to the honour. A clerk in holy orders who is a baronet is entitled to use the title Sir.
Outside the British honours system it is usually considered improper to address a knighted person as 'Sir' or 'Dame'. Some countries, however, historically did have equivalent honorifics for knights, such as Cavaliere in Italy (e.g. Cavaliere Benito Mussolini), and Ritter in Germany and the Austro-Hungarian Empire (e.g. Georg Ritter von Trapp).
State Knighthoods in the Netherlands are issued in three orders, the Order of William, the Order of the Netherlands Lion, and the Order of Orange Nassau. Additionally there remain a few hereditary knights in the Netherlands.
In Belgium, honorific knighthood (not hereditary) can be conferred by the King on particularly meritorious individuals such as scientists or eminent businessmen, or for instance to astronaut Frank De Winne, the second Belgian in space. This practice is similar to the conferral of the dignity of Knight Bachelor in the United Kingdom. In addition, there still are a number of hereditary knights in Belgium (see below).
In France and Belgium, one of the ranks conferred in some Orders of Merit, such as the Légion d'Honneur, the Ordre National du Mérite, the Ordre des Palmes académiques and the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in France, and the Order of Leopold, Order of the Crown and Order of Leopold II in Belgium, is that of Chevalier (in French) or Ridder (in Dutch), meaning Knight.
In the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth the monarchs tried to establish chivalric orders but the hereditary lords who controlled the Union did not agree and managed to ban such assemblies. They feared the King would use Orders to gain support for absolutist goals and to make formal distinctions among the peerage which could lead to its legal breakup into two separate classes, and that the King would later play one against the other and eventually limit the legal privileges of hereditary nobility. But finally in 1705 King August II managed to establish the Order of the White Eagle which remains Poland's most prestigious order of that kind. The head of state (now the President as the acting Grand Master) confers knighthoods of the Order to distinguished citizens, foreign monarchs and other heads of state. The Order has its Chapter. There were no particular honorifics that would accompany a knight's name as historically all (or at least by far most) of its members would be royals or hereditary lords anyway. So today, a knight is simply referred to as "Name Surname, knight of the White Eagle (Order)".
In continental Europe different systems of hereditary knighthood have existed or do exist. Ridder, Dutch for "knight", is a hereditary noble title in the Netherlands. It is the lowest title within the nobility system and ranks below that of "Baron" but above "Jonkheer" (the latter is not a title, but a Dutch honorific to show that someone belongs to the untitled nobility). The collective term for its holders in a certain locality is the Ridderschap (e.g. Ridderschap van Holland, Ridderschap van Friesland, etc.). In the Netherlands no female equivalent exists. Before 1814, the history of nobility is separate for each of the eleven provinces that make up the Kingdom of the Netherlands. In each of these, there were in the early Middle Ages a number of feudal lords who often were just as powerful, and sometimes more so than the rulers themselves. In old times, no other title existed but that of knight. In the Netherlands only 10 knightly families are still extant, a number which steadily decreases because in that country ennoblement or incorporation into the nobility is not possible anymore.
Likewise Ridder, Dutch for "knight", or the equivalent French Chevalier is a hereditary noble title in Belgium. It is the second lowest title within the nobility system above Écuyer or Jonkheer/Jonkvrouw and below Baron. Like in the Netherlands, no female equivalent to the title exists. Belgium still does have about 232 registered knightly families.
The German and Austrian equivalent of an hereditary knight is a Ritter. This designation is used as a title of nobility in all German-speaking areas. Traditionally it denotes the second lowest rank within the nobility, standing above "Edler" (noble) and below "Freiherr" (baron). For its historical association with warfare and the landed gentry in the Middle Ages, it can be considered roughly equal to the titles of "Knight" or "Baronet".
In the Kingdom of Spain, the Royal House of Spain grants titles of knighthood to the successor of the throne. This knighthood title known as Order of the Golden Fleece is among the most prestigious and exclusive Chivalric Orders. This Order can also be granted to persons not belonging to the Spanish Crown, as the current Emperor of Japan Akihito, the current Queen of United Kingdom Elizabeth II or the important Spanish politician of the Spanish democratic transition Adolfo Suárez, among others.
The Royal House of Portugal historically bestowed hereditary knighthoods to holders of the highest ranks in the Royal Orders. Today, the head of the Royal House of Portugal HRH Duarte Pio, Duke of Braganza bestows hereditary knighthoods for extraordinary acts of sacrifice and service to the Royal House. There are very few hereditary knights and they are entitled to wear a breast star with the crest of the House of Braganza.
In France, the hereditary knighthood existed in regions formerly under Holy Roman Empire control. One family ennobled with that title is the house of Hauteclocque (by letters patents of 1752), even if its most recent members used a pontifical title of count.
Italy and Poland also had the hereditary knighthood that existed within the nobility system.
There are traces of the Continental system of hereditary knighthood in Ireland. Notably all three of the following belong to the Hiberno-Norman FitzGerald dynasty, created by the Earls of Desmond, acting as Earls Palatine, for their kinsmen.
Another Irish family were the O'Shaughnessys, who were created knights in 1553 under the policy of surrender and regrant (first established by Henry VIII of England). They were attainted in 1697 for participation on the Jacobite side in the Williamite wars.
Since 1611, the British Crown has awarded a hereditary title in the form of the baronetcy. Like knights, baronets are accorded the title Sir. Baronets are not peers of the Realm, and have never been entitled to sit in the House of Lords, therefore like knights they remain commoners in the view of the British legal system. However, unlike knights, the title is hereditary and the recipient does not receive an accolade. The position is therefore more comparable with hereditary knighthoods in continental European orders of nobility, such as ritter, than with knighthoods under the British orders of chivalry. However, unlike the continental orders, the British baronetcy system was a modern invention, designed specifically to raise money for the Crown with the purchase of the title.
Women were appointed to the Order of the Garter almost from the start. In all, 68 women were appointed between 1358 and 1488, including all consorts. Though many were women of royal blood, or wives of knights of the Garter, some women were neither. They wore the garter on the left arm, and some are shown on their tombstones with this arrangement. After 1488, no other appointments of women are known, although it is said that the Garter was conferred upon Neapolitan poet Laura Bacio Terricina, by King Edward VI. In 1638, a proposal was made to revive the use of robes for the wives of knights in ceremonies, but this did not occur. Queens consort have been made Ladies of the Garter since 1901 (Queens Alexandra in 1901, Mary in 1910 and Elizabeth in 1937). The first non-royal woman to be made Lady Companion of the Garter was The Duchess of Norfolk in 1990, the second was The Baroness Thatcher in 1995 (post-nominal: LG). On 30 November 1996, Lady Fraser was made Lady of the Thistle, the first non-royal woman (post-nominal: LT). (See Edmund Fellowes, Knights of the Garter, 1939; and Beltz: Memorials of the Order of the Garter). The first woman to be granted a knighthood in modern Britain seems to have been H.H. Nawab Sikandar Begum Sahiba, Nawab Begum of Bhopal, who became a Knight Grand Commander of the Order of the Star of India (GCSI) in 1861, at the foundation of the order. Her daughter received the same honor in 1872, as well as her granddaughter in 1910. The order was open to "princes and chiefs" without distinction of gender. The first European woman to have been granted an order of knighthood was Queen Mary, when she was made a Knight Grand Commander of the same order, by special statute, in celebration of the Delhi Durbar of 1911. She was also granted a damehood in 1917 as a Dame Grand Cross, when the Order of the British Empire was created (it was the first order explicitly open to women). The Royal Victorian Order was opened to women in 1936, and the Orders of the Bath and Saint Michael and Saint George in 1965 and 1971 respectively.
Medieval French had two words, chevaleresse and chevalière, which were used in two ways: one was for the wife of a knight, and this usage goes back to the 14th century. The other was possibly for a female knight. Here is a quote from Menestrier, a 17th-century writer on chivalry: "It was not always necessary to be the wife of a knight in order to take this title. Sometimes, when some male fiefs were conceded by special privilege to women, they took the rank of chevaleresse, as one sees plainly in Hemricourt where women who were not wives of knights are called chevaleresses." Modern French orders of knighthood include women, for example the Légion d'Honneur (Legion of Honor) since the mid-19th century, but they are usually called chevaliers. The first documented case is that of Angélique Brûlon (1772–1859), who fought in the Revolutionary Wars, received a military disability pension in 1798, the rank of 2nd lieutenant in 1822, and the Legion of Honor in 1852. A recipient of the Ordre National du Mérite recently requested from the order's Chancery the permission to call herself "chevalière," and the request was granted (AFP dispatch, Jan 28, 2000).
As related in Orders of Knighthood, Awards and the Holy See by H. E. Cardinale (1983), the Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary was founded by two Bolognese nobles Loderingo degli Andalò and Catalano di Guido in 1233, and approved by Pope Alexander IV in 1261. It was the first religious order of knighthood to grant the rank of militissa to women. However, this order was suppressed by Sixtus V in 1558.
At the initiative of Catherine Baw in 1441, and 10 years later of Elizabeth, Mary, and Isabella of the house of Hornes, orders were founded which were open exclusively to women of noble birth, who received the French title of chevalière or the Latin title of equitissa. In his Glossarium (s.v. militissa), Du Cange notes that still in his day (17th century), the female canons of the canonical monastery of St. Gertrude in Nivelles (Brabant), after a probation of 3 years, are made knights (militissae) at the altar, by a (male) knight called in for that purpose, who gives them the accolade with a sword and pronounces the usual words.
The inhabitants [of Tortosa] being at length reduced to great streights, desired relief of the Earl, but he, being not in a condition to give them any, they entertained some thoughts of making a surrender. Which the Women hearing of, to prevent the disaster threatening their City, themselves, and Children, put on men's Clothes, and by a resolute sally, forced the Moors to raise the Siege. The Earl, finding himself obliged, by the gallentry of the action, thought fit to make his acknowlegements thereof, by granting them several Privileges and Immunities, and to perpetuate the memory of so signal an attempt, instituted an Order, somewhat like a Military Order, into which were admitted only those Brave Women, deriving the honour to their Descendants, and assigned them for a Badge, a thing like a Fryars Capouche, sharp at the top, after the form of a Torch, and of a crimson colour, to be worn upon their Head-clothes. He also ordained, that at all publick meetings, the women should have precedence of the Men. That they should be exempted from all Taxes, and that all the Apparel and Jewels, though of never so great value, left by their dead Husbands, should be their own. These Women having thus acquired this Honour by their personal Valour, carried themselves after the Military Knights of those days.— Elias Ashmole, The Institution, Laws, and Ceremony of the Most Noble Order of the Garter (1672), Ch. 3, sect. 3
Knights were often vassals, or lesser nobles, who fought on behalf of lords in return for land.
The hereditary Order of Baronets was erected by patent in England by King James I in 1611, extended to Ireland by the same Monarch in 1619, and first conferred in Scotland by King Charles I in 1625.
The fictional superhero Batman, who appears in American comic books published by DC Comics, has appeared in various films since his inception. Created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger, the character first starred in two serial films in the 1940s: Batman and Batman and Robin. The character also appeared in the 1966 film Batman, which was a feature film adaptation of the 1960s Batman TV series starring Adam West and Burt Ward, who also starred in the film. Toward the end of the 1980s, the Warner Bros. studio began producing a series of feature films starring Batman, beginning with the 1989 film Batman, directed by Tim Burton and starring Michael Keaton. Burton and Keaton returned for the 1992 sequel Batman Returns, and in 1995, Joel Schumacher directed Batman Forever with Val Kilmer as Batman. Schumacher also directed the 1997 sequel Batman & Robin, which starred George Clooney. Batman & Robin was poorly received by both critics and fans, leading to the cancellation of Batman Unchained.Following the cancellation of two further film proposals, the franchise was rebooted in 2005 with Batman Begins, directed by Christopher Nolan and starring Christian Bale. Nolan returned to direct two further installments through the release of The Dark Knight in 2008 and The Dark Knight Rises in 2012, with Bale reprising his role in both films. Both sequels earned over $1 billion worldwide, making Batman the second film franchise to have two of its films earn more than $1 billion worldwide. Referred to as The Dark Knight Trilogy, the critical acclaim and commercial success of Nolan's films have been credited with restoring widespread popularity to the superhero, with the second installment considered one of the best superhero movies of all-time.
After Warner Bros. launched their own shared cinematic universe known as the DC Extended Universe in 2013, Ben Affleck was cast to portray Batman in the new expansive franchise, first appearing in 2016 with the Zack Snyder directed film Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. The film would help begin a sequence of further DC Comics adaptations, including Justice League, a crossover film featuring other DC Comics characters, in 2017, and a stand-alone Batman film directed by Matt Reeves. Outside of the DCEU, Dante Pereira-Olson will appear as Bruce Wayne in the 2019 film Joker, directed by Todd Phillips.The series has grossed over $4.99 billion at the global box office, making it the eleventh highest-grossing film franchise of all time. Batman has also appeared in multiple animated films, both as a starring character and as an ensemble character. While most animated films were released direct-to-video, the 1993 animated feature Batman: Mask of the Phantasm, based on the 1990s Batman: The Animated Series, was released theatrically. Having earned a total of U.S. $2,407,708,129 the Batman series is the fifth-highest-grossing film series in North America.Christopher Nolan
Christopher Edward Nolan, (; born 30 July 1970) is an English film director, screenwriter, and producer who holds both British and American citizenship. He is renowned as an auteur, making personal, distinctive films within the Hollywood mainstream. Critic Philip French called him the "first major talent to emerge this [21st] century".Nolan made his directorial debut with Following (1998). His second feature, Memento (2000), was highly acclaimed, and in 2017 selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry. He made the transition from independent to studio filmmaking with Insomnia (2002), and found further critical and commercial success with The Dark Knight Trilogy (2005–2012), The Prestige (2006), Inception (2010), Interstellar (2014), and Dunkirk (2017). Nolan's films are typically rooted in epistemological and metaphysical themes, exploring human morality, the construction of time, and the malleable nature of memory and personal identity. His body of work is permeated by materialistic perspectives, nonlinear storytelling, cross-cutting, practical special effects, innovative soundscapes, large-format film photography, and analogous relationships between visual language and narrative elements. Nolan has co-written several of his films with his brother Jonathan, and runs the production company Syncopy Inc. with his wife Emma Thomas. In addition to his filmmaking, he is an advocate for film preservation and the analog medium.
Throughout his career, Nolan has received many awards and honours. His ten films have grossed over US$4.7 billion worldwide and garnered a total of 34 Oscar nominations and ten wins. Time magazine named Nolan one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2015, and in 2019, he was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire for his services to film.Knight Bachelor
The dignity of Knight Bachelor is the basic and lowest rank of a man who has been knighted by the monarch but not as a member of one of the organised orders of chivalry; it is a part of the British honours system. Knights Bachelor are the most ancient sort of British knight (the rank existed during the 13th century reign of King Henry III), but Knights Bachelor rank below knights of chivalric orders.
There is no female counterpart to Knight Bachelor. The lowest knightly honour that can be conferred upon a woman is Dame Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (DBE), which is one rank higher than Knight Bachelor (being the female equivalent of KBE or Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, which is the next male knightly rank above Knight Bachelor). Also, foreigners are not created Knights Bachelor; instead they are generally made honorary KBEs.Knights Templar
The Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon (Latin: Pauperes commilitones Christi Templique Salomonici), also known as the Order of Solomon's Temple, the Knights Templar or simply the Templars, were a Catholic military order recognised in 1139 by the papal bull Omne datum optimum. The order was founded in 1119 and was active until 1312 when it was perpetually suppressed by Pope Clement V by the bull Vox in excelso.The Templars became a favoured charity throughout Christendom and grew rapidly in membership and power. They were prominent in Christian finance. Templar knights, in their distinctive white mantles with a red cross, were among the most skilled fighting units of the Crusades. Non-combatant members of the order, who formed as much as 90% of the order's members, managed a large economic infrastructure throughout Christendom, developing innovative financial techniques that were an early form of banking, building its own network of nearly 1,000 commanderies and fortifications across Europe and the Holy Land, and arguably forming the world's first multinational corporation.The Templars were closely tied to the Crusades; when the Holy Land was lost, support for the order faded. Rumours about the Templars' secret initiation ceremony created distrust, and King Philip IV of France – deeply in debt to the order – took advantage of this distrust to destroy them and erase his debt. In 1307, he had many of the order's members in France arrested, tortured into giving false confessions, and burned at the stake. Pope Clement V disbanded the order in 1312 under pressure from King Philip. The abrupt reduction in power of a significant group in European society gave rise to speculation, legend, and legacy through the ages.Kolkata Knight Riders
The Kolkata Knight Riders (also known by the acronym KKR) are a franchise cricket team representing the city of Kolkata in the Indian Premier League. The franchise is owned by Bollywood actor Shahrukh Khan, actress Juhi Chawla and her spouse Jay Mehta. The team is coached by Jacques Kallis. The home of the Knight Riders is Eden Gardens, the largest cricket stadium in India and the second largest in the world by seating capacity.Although the team had gained immense popularity due to its association with celebrity owners.The team's performance, however, improved from the fourth season as it qualified for the IPL playoffs as well as the Champions League Twenty20. They eventually became the IPL champions for the first time in 2012, by defeating Chennai Super Kings in the final and repeated the feat in 2014, defeating Kings XI Punjab. The Knight Riders hold the record for the longest winning streak by any Indian team in T20s (14).The leading run-scorer of the side is Gautam Gambhir, while the leading wicket-taker is Sunil Narine. The official theme of the team is Korbo, Lorbo, Jeetbo Re (we will perform, fight and win!) and the official colours are purple and gold. The brand value of the Knight Riders was estimated at $104 million in 2018, second highest among IPL franchises.M. Night Shyamalan
Manoj Nelliyattu "M. Night" Shyamalan ( SHAH-mə-lahn; born August 6, 1970) is an American filmmaker and actor. He is known for making films with contemporary supernatural plots and twist endings. He was born in Mahé, Puducherry, India, and raised in Penn Valley, Pennsylvania.
He made his directorial debut in 1992 with his first movie Praying with Anger. His second movie was the comedy-drama film Wide Awake (1998). His most well-received films include the supernatural thriller The Sixth Sense (1999), the superhero thriller Unbreakable (2000), the science fiction thriller Signs (2002) and the period-piece thriller The Village (2004). For The Sixth Sense, Shyamalan received a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Director and the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. Afterward, Shyamalan released a series of poorly received but sometimes financially successful movies, including the dark fantasy Lady in the Water (2006), the eco-thriller The Happening (2008), The Last Airbender (2010) (an adaptation of the animated TV series Avatar: The Last Airbender), and the science fiction film After Earth (2013). Following the financial failure of After Earth, Shyamalan's career was revived with the release of the found footage horror film The Visit (2015) and the psychological thriller Split (2016). His latest film is the superhero thriller Glass (2019), which is the third and final chapter of his Unbreakable film series.
In addition to his directorial work, Shyamalan was a producer for the horror film Devil (2010). He was also instrumental in the creation of the Fox science fiction series Wayward Pines (2015–2016), for which he executive produced and directed the pilot episode. He also appeared in an episode of the series Entourage. Shyamalan was also called in for an uncredited rewrite for the teen film She's All That (1998) and also served as a writer for the film Stuart Little (1999).
Shyamalan is also known for filming and setting his films in and outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Most of his commercially successful films were co-produced and released by the Walt Disney Studios' Touchstone and Hollywood film imprints. In 2008, Shyamalan was awarded the Padma Shri by the government of India.Moon Knight
Moon Knight (Marc Spector) is a fictional superhero appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. Created by Doug Moench and Don Perlin, the character first appeared in Werewolf by Night #32 (August 1975).Order of Australia
The Order of Australia is an order of chivalry established on 14 February 1975 by Elizabeth II, Queen of Australia, to recognise Australian citizens and other persons for achievement or meritorious service. Before the establishment of the order, Australian citizens received British honours.
The Queen of Australia is Sovereign Head of the Order, while the Governor-General is Principal Companion/Dame/Knight (as relevant at the time) and Chancellor of the Order. The Governor-General's Official Secretary, currently Paul Singer, is Secretary of the Order.Order of St Michael and St George
The Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George is a British order of chivalry founded on 28 April 1818 by George, Prince Regent, later King George IV, while he was acting as regent for his father, King George III.
It is named in honour of two military saints, St Michael and St George.
The Order of St Michael and St George was originally awarded to those holding commands or high position in the Mediterranean territories acquired in the Napoleonic Wars, and was subsequently extended to holders of similar office or position in other territories of the British Empire. It is at present awarded to men and women who hold high office or who render extraordinary or important non-military service in a foreign country, and can also be conferred for important or loyal service in relation to foreign and Commonwealth affairs.Order of the Bath
The Most Honourable Order of the Bath (formerly the Most Honourable Military Order of the Bath) is a British order of chivalry founded by George I on 18 May 1725. The name derives from the elaborate medieval ceremony for appointing a knight, which involved bathing (as a symbol of purification) as one of its elements. The knights so created were known as "Knights of the Bath". George I "erected the Knights of the Bath into a regular Military Order". He did not (as is commonly believed) revive the Order of the Bath, since it had never previously existed as an Order, in the sense of a body of knights who were governed by a set of statutes and whose numbers were replenished when vacancies occurred.The Order consists of the Sovereign (currently Queen Elizabeth II), the Great Master (currently The Prince of Wales), and three Classes of members:
Knight Grand Cross (GCB) or Dame Grand Cross (GCB)
Knight Commander (KCB) or Dame Commander (DCB)
Companion (CB)Members belong to either the Civil or the Military Division. Prior to 1815, the order had only a single class, Knight Companion (KB), which no longer exists. Recipients of the Order are now usually senior military officers or senior civil servants. Commonwealth citizens who are not subjects of the Queen and foreign nationals may be made Honorary Members.The Order of the Bath is the fourth-most senior of the British Orders of Chivalry, after The Most Noble Order of the Garter, The Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle, and The Most Illustrious Order of St Patrick (dormant).Order of the British Empire
The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is a British order of chivalry, rewarding contributions to the arts and sciences, work with charitable and welfare organisations,
and public service outside the civil service. It was established on 4 June 1917 by King George V and comprises five classes across both civil and military divisions, the most senior two of which make the recipient either a knight if male or dame if female. There is also the related British Empire Medal, whose recipients are affiliated with, but not members of, the order.
Recommendations for appointments to the Order of the British Empire were originally made on the nomination of the United Kingdom, the self-governing Dominions of the Empire (later Commonwealth) and the Viceroy of India. Nominations continue today from Commonwealth countries that participate in recommending British (Imperial) honours. Most Commonwealth countries ceased recommendations for appointments to the Order of the British Empire when they created their own honours.Order of the Garter
The Order of the Garter (formally the Most Noble Order of the Garter) is an order of chivalry founded by Edward III in 1348 and regarded as the most prestigious British order of chivalry (though in precedence inferior to the military Victoria Cross and George Cross) in England and later the United Kingdom. It is dedicated to the image and arms of Saint George, England's patron saint.
Appointments are made at the Sovereign's sole discretion. Membership of the Order is limited to the Sovereign, the Prince of Wales, and no more than 24 living members, or Companions. The order also includes supernumerary knights and ladies (e.g., members of the British royal family and foreign monarchs). New appointments to the Order of the Garter are often announced on St George's Day (23 April), as Saint George is the order's patron saint.The order's emblem is a garter with the motto Honi soit qui mal y pense (Middle French: "Shame on him who thinks ill of it") in gold lettering. Members of the order wear it on ceremonial occasions.Paige (wrestler)
Saraya-Jade Bevis (born 17 August 1992) is an English professional wrestling personality, actress, and retired professional wrestler. She is signed to WWE under the ring name Paige, where she is the manager of the tag team of Asuka and Kairi Sane on the SmackDown brand. Bevis is a two-time Divas Champion and was the inaugural NXT Women's Champion in WWE's developmental branch NXT, holding both championships concurrently at one time.In 2005, at the age of 13, Bevis made her debut in the World Association of Wrestling, a promotion run by her family, under the ring name Britani Knight. She went on to hold several championships on the independent circuit within Europe. In 2011, she signed a contract with WWE and started wrestling within its developmental systems, eventually debuting on WWE's main roster in April 2014. In her debut match on the main roster, she won the Divas Championship, becoming the youngest champion in the title's history at the age of 21.Phil Knight
Philip Hampson "Buck" Knight (born February 24, 1938) is an American business magnate and philanthropist. A native of Oregon, he is the co-founder and current Chairman Emeritus of Nike, Inc., and previously served as chairman and CEO of the company. As of August 2018, Knight was ranked by Forbes as the 28th richest person in the world, with an estimated net worth of US$34.7 billion. He is also the owner of the stop motion film production company Laika.
Knight is a graduate of the University of Oregon and Stanford Graduate School of Business. He ran track under coach Bill Bowerman at the University of Oregon, with whom he would co-found Nike.
A noted philanthropist, Knight has donated hundreds of millions of dollars to each of his Alma Maters, as well as Oregon Health & Science University. In total, he has donated over $2 billion to the three institutions.Royal Victorian Order
The Royal Victorian Order (French: Ordre royal de Victoria) is a dynastic order of knighthood established in 1896 by Queen Victoria. It recognises distinguished personal service to the monarch of the Commonwealth realms, members of the monarch's family, or to any viceroy or senior representative of the monarch. The present monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, is the sovereign of the order, the order's motto is Victoria, and its official day is 20 June. The order's chapel is the Savoy Chapel in London.
There is no limit on the number of individuals honoured at any grade, and admission remains at the sole discretion of the monarch, with each of the order's five grades and one medal with three levels representing different levels of service. While all those honoured may use the prescribed styles of the order—the top two grades grant titles of knighthood, and all grades accord distinct post-nominal letters—the Royal Victorian Order's precedence amongst other honours differs from realm to realm and admission to some grades may be barred to citizens of those realms by government policy.Suge Knight
Marion Hugh "Suge" Knight Jr. (; born April 19, 1965) is a former American record producer, music executive, former American football player and incarcerated felon. He is best known as the co-founder and former CEO of Death Row Records, which rose to dominate the rap charts after Dr. Dre's breakthrough album The Chronic in 1992, and enjoyed several years of chart successes for artists including Tupac Shakur, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Outlawz and Tha Dogg Pound.
Suge Knight is also known for his numerous legal issues. In September 2018, Knight pleaded no contest to voluntary manslaughter in a fatal 2015 hit-and-run and was sentenced to 28 years in prison.The Dark Knight (film)
The Dark Knight is a 2008 superhero film directed, co-produced, and co-written by Christopher Nolan. Based on the DC Comics character Batman, the film is the second installment of Nolan's The Dark Knight Trilogy and a sequel to 2005's Batman Begins, starring Christian Bale and supported by Michael Caine, Heath Ledger, Gary Oldman, Aaron Eckhart, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Morgan Freeman. In the film, Bruce Wayne / Batman (Bale), Police Lieutenant James Gordon (Oldman) and District Attorney Harvey Dent (Eckhart) form an alliance to dismantle organized crime in Gotham City, but are menaced by an anarchistic mastermind known as the Joker (Ledger), who seeks to undermine Batman's influence and turn the city to chaos.
Nolan's inspiration for the film was the Joker's comic book debut in 1940, the 1988 graphic novel The Killing Joke, and the 1996 series The Long Halloween, which retold Two-Face's origin. The "Dark Knight" nickname was first applied to Batman in Batman #1 (1940), in a story written by Bill Finger. The Dark Knight was filmed primarily in Chicago, as well as in several other locations in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Hong Kong. Nolan used IMAX 70 mm film cameras to film some sequences, including the Joker's first appearance in the film. Warner Bros. initially created a viral marketing campaign for The Dark Knight, developing promotional websites and trailers highlighting screenshots of Ledger as the Joker. Ledger died on January 22, 2008, some months after the completed filming and six months before the film's release from a toxic combination of prescription drugs, leading to intense attention from the press and movie-going public.
A co-production of the United States and the United Kingdom, The Dark Knight was released on July 18, 2008 in the United States and on July 25, 2008 in the United Kingdom. Film critics considered it one of the best films of its decade and one of the best superhero films of all time; the film received highly positive reviews, particularly for its action, score, screenplay, performances (particularly Ledger's), visual effects, and direction, setting numerous records during its theatrical run. The Dark Knight appeared on 287 critics' top ten lists, more than any other film of 2008 with the exception of WALL-E, and more critics (77) named The Dark Knight the best film released that year. With over $1 billion in revenue worldwide, it became the highest-grossing film of 2008 and is the 39th highest-grossing film of all time, unadjusted for inflation (4th at the time of release); it also set the record for highest-grossing domestic opening with $158 million, a record it held for three years. The film received eight Academy Award nominations; it won the award for Best Sound Editing and Ledger was posthumously awarded Best Supporting Actor. In 2016 it was voted 33rd among 100 films considered the best of the 21st century by 117 film critics from around the world. The Dark Knight Rises, the final film in the trilogy, was released on July 20, 2012.The Dark Knight Rises
The Dark Knight Rises is a 2012 superhero film directed by Christopher Nolan, who co-wrote the screenplay with his brother Jonathan Nolan, and the story with David S. Goyer. Featuring the DC Comics character Batman, the film is the final installment in Nolan's The Dark Knight Trilogy, and the sequel to The Dark Knight (2008). Christian Bale stars as Bruce Wayne / Batman, alongside Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Anne Hathaway, Tom Hardy, Marion Cotillard, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Morgan Freeman. Eight years after the events of The Dark Knight, merciless revolutionary Bane forces an older Bruce Wayne to resume his role as Batman and save Gotham City from nuclear destruction.
Christopher Nolan was hesitant about returning to the series for a third film, but agreed after developing a story with his brother and Goyer that he felt would conclude the series on a satisfactory note. Nolan drew inspiration from Bane's comic book debut in the 1993 "Knightfall" storyline, the 1986 series The Dark Knight Returns, and the 1999 storyline "No Man's Land". Filming took place from May to November 2011 in locations including Jodhpur, London, Nottingham, Glasgow, Los Angeles, New York City, Newark, and Pittsburgh. Nolan used IMAX 70 mm film cameras for much of the filming, including the first six minutes of the film, to optimize the quality of the picture. A vehicle variation of the Batplane and Batcopter termed the "Bat", an underground prison set, and a new Batcave set were created specifically for the film. As with The Dark Knight, viral marketing campaigns began early during production. When filming concluded, Warner Bros. refocused its campaign: developing promotional websites, releasing the first six minutes of the film, screening theatrical trailers, and sending out information regarding the film's plot.
The Dark Knight Rises premiered in New York City on July 16, 2012. The film was released in the United States and the United Kingdom on July 20, 2012. It received positive reviews; the consensus at Rotten Tomatoes calls it "ambitious, thoughtful, and potent". The film has grossed over $1 billion worldwide, making it the second film in the Batman film series to earn $1 billion. In addition to being Nolan's highest-grossing film, it is the 27th highest-grossing film of all time (7th at the time of release), the highest grossing live action superhero film that is not in a shared universe, the third highest-grossing film of 2012, the highest-grossing Batman film of all time, the ninth highest-grossing superhero film, as well as the second highest-grossing DC Comics film of all time.
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