Knightmare Lexicon - A Knightmare Encyclopædia

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1. Talking Bird
From TES issue 55 (January 2009)

Series 3. Level 2.

I don’t want to say that Knightmare’s production team overused the old trick of enlarging animals with their sophisticated camera techniques, but they certainly did a lot of it, particularly in the early years. The large raven appeared four times in level two during series 3, sitting on its wooden perch and chattering away in its cawing voice, which sounded to me like one of Tom Karol’s vocal efforts.

Unlike the giant toad in the same series, the raven actually played a practical part in the quest, giving away through its ramblings some useful snippets of information. Clearly the raven was repeating what had been said to it or in front of it, and seeing as the information it gave out invariably took the form of the third step, one could assume that Merlin was the person whom the bird had overheard. However, did Merlin also provide such phrases as ”Who’s a pretty boy, then?”, ”Who’s a cheeky boy, then?”, ”Who’s a stupid boy, then?”, ”Hello, sailor” and ”Goodnight, Jack”? Kinda makes you wonder, doesn’t it?

Although many of them tried, the teams could not actually interact with the raven, as it was only repeating what it had overheard, and did not understand what it was saying. It was obvious that whoever had been trying to get the bird to talk had not met with much success, yet the raven was only too happy to chatter away merrily when its owner was not in the room – a highly amusing state of affairs, I’m sure you’ll agree.

As I mentioned earlier, the only useful information the raven actually gave out was the third step. Three teams benefited from the bird’s wisdom in this area – Cliff’s, Ross’s and Scott’s. The raven made its fourth and final appearance in Julie’s quest, but it didn’t say anything useful on this occasion. However, Treguard and the advisors seemed to find the encounter very funny!

Fear Factor: 2 It quickly became clear that there was no threat here.
Killer Instinct: 0 No horrific eye-pecking, I’m afraid.
Gore Factor: 1 Who could object to such a sleek, majestic creature?
Humanity: 2 It’s a bird!

Provided By: Eyeshield, 2009-02-27 10:41:35
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2. Talking Bird
 [Related Image] WHAT:
A large black-feathered bird with the ability to speak English and give hints to passing teams.

Series 3 only, during the following quests: Team 2 of Series 3 (dungeoneer Cliff), Team 6 of Series 3 (Ross), Team 9 of Series 3 (Scott), Team 10 of Series 3 (Julie).

Knightmare's end credits never informed us who voiced the bird. The Eye Shield has speculated that it was Tom Karol (Mrs. Grimwold, Olaf). This was confirmed by Tom Karol when interviewed by James Aukett in 2012. He went on to explain that 'ravens are keepers of time in Greek mythology, and Tim [Child, Knightmare's creator] had bought in this whole element of time where I suggested to him, "If you want this raven, it should be speaking" - and then suddenly this voice came out. When they wanted to use time, they'd show the raven and the raven spoke or the kids would have to speak to the raven, so that was fun as well. Its great using your own voice, especially when it works!'

The species of the bird was never firmly established within the episodes themselves. Size is not a reliable guide, as it may have been scaled up, as so many of KM's creatures were (e.g. Bethsemane, Ariadne, giant reptiles). Team 6 called it a jackdaw, which it is not, due to beak dissimilarities. In the absence of a detailed ornithological appraisal, I would suggest that it's either a crow or a raven - which is in fact a member of the crow family, making Talking Crow a legitimate moniker. However, since Treguard merely referred to it as a bird, it seems safest to call it that, rather than guess which kind it is. Individual fans can refer to it however they wish of course, but should bear in mind that they may not be calling a spade a spade in doing so.

The bird had its own exclusive chamber on Level 2. It was based on the Level 3 'Jericho' chamber seen fully in Series 2-3 (see below). The wall behind the bird seems to bear an outline of the Jericho room's far wall archway. The exit from the bird's chamber was always on the right-hand wall. There were white marks on the walls: some were replicated from the Jericho room, but others appear to represent bird poo.
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Sitting atop a perch, the bird would talk to (or more often at) dungeoneers, in a manner that some might find reminiscent of a parrot. It often sounded mischievous, sometimes seeming to laugh. Whether they found the bird amusing, unnerving or bewildering, the team's task was - as with the Oracle of Confusion - to listen, separate the wheat from the chaff, and note the information that would help them complete Level 2.

Cliff, Ross and Scott were all given a step clue for Merlin's throne room. (Scott's advisors seemed wary of the bird, and wasted little time in guiding Scott to the door.) Julie, however, encountered the talking bird after Merlin, and was apparently given the "password" "Goodnight, Jack". Perhaps if she weren't already in losing status, the goblins that approached her (the "cheeky boys" referred to by the bird?) might have accepted this password and let her continue. That is merely speculation.
 [Related Image] Though the Talking Bird was never seen in close-up during any quest, it was so displayed during Treguard's introductory progress report of Episode 3.
In The Labyrinths of Fear gamebook, Mildread has a pet crow that speaks to the player, giving advice on which of Mildread's clue objects to take.

According to the fanfictional world of Knightmare Roleplay, the talking bird passes into Hordriss' possession. He teaches it his summoning name so that it can recall him from a perilous location to a safe one.

A talking crow (corbeau) featured in the French version of Knightmare, Le Chevalier Du Labyrinthe. It was voiced by Lionel Muzin.

The talking bird features in Knightmare fan The Jackal's 2008 Knightmare computer game, in which it gives a clue that helps with a choice later on in the game.

A talking black bird of a different type was seen in the third series of El Rescate del Talismán, Spain's version of Knightmare.

In Norse mythology, Odin had two ravens that he used as news gatherers.

[Earlier version: 2008-12-27 23:37:24]

Provided By: David, 2015-07-19 18:27:17
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