↳ “i am william wallace! and i see a whole army of my countrymen, here in defiance of tyranny. you’ve come to fight as free men… and free men, you are. what will you do with that freedom? will you fight? ” - braveheart (1995)
First of all, Wallace wasn’t an unwashed commoner in a shit-caked kilt. He was an unwashed knight hailing from a privileged family, and he wore expensive armor. As we’ve explained before, the kilt wouldn’t even exist until 400 years after Wallace’s death, and in medieval times, plaid wool skirts would have been about as useful on the battlefield as Nerf swords.
As a prominent landowner whose father most likely served in the household of King David I, Wallace’s killin’ getup would have consisted of gauntlets, a helmet, and custom-made plate armor. And once he was appointed “Guardian of Scotland,” the de facto Scottish head of state, chances are you wouldn’t find a trace of caked shit anywhere on his shiny, metal breeches.
Most of Braveheart’s take on Wallace actually comes from The Wallace, a romanticized (meaning: “made up”) poem written over 170 years after his death by a poet named Blind Harry. More reliable sources, on the other hand, paint a vastly different portrait of Wallace: that of an impetuous, hotheaded knight, “pleasing in appearance but with a wild look,” and sporting a giant beard.