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The Missing Link(s): Linking Together The LEGO Castle-verse

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The Missing Link(s): Linking Together The LEGO Castle-verse

Postby BlackenedPurple » Thu Jan 13, 2011 3:41 am

In terms of continuity over their respective lifespans, LEGO's 3 evergreen themes have followed different paths. Many would agree that Town/World City/City (etc.) has really been one long line of modern civilian-style sets, with more and more sets being released year after year. A similar argument could be made for Space because even without direct photographic evidence of M-Tron interacting with UFO or Space Police III, the Space-verse (or universe) could be vast enough that these groups may not have had any contact (also, older space logos have been reappearing such as here, here, and here). However, Castle is the most limited in its case for continuity as the theme is supposedly restricted to one continent during one general time period. Reading this topic got me thinking, and as this is, I have tried to understand how all the Castle factions relate to one another using only torso/armor designs and shields emblematic of their respective factions as officially depicted in LEGO publications.

The following image is what I came up with:


Starting from the beginning, I do not believe that Classic Castle related at all to the Black Falcons or Crusaders that followed it. I believe the theme rebooted in 1984, and as we all know Black Falcons, Crusaders, Black Knights, Forestmen, and Wolfpack all coexisted for a number of years. Then came the Dragon Masters, who I view as a sort of bridge between the aforementioned 5 factions and the Royal Knights, Dark Forest, and Fright Knights. There are photos of scenes involving Dragon Masters, Black Knights, Black Falcons, and the Wolfpack, and later more photos of scenes involving Dragon Masters, Dark Forest, and Royal Knights. There is also this set and this set which seem to connect Black Knights, Royal Knights, Dark Forest, and Dragon Masters. Forestmen and Dark Forest are related due to the reuse of torsos and shields. Lastly, the Fright Knights are connected to the Royal Knights in this set and to the Dark Forest in this set. Also of note: the iconic Black Falcon shield reappeared in this 2005 Harry Potter set, a licenced theme some would like to think of as unrelated to the Castle theme, despite evidence to the contrary.

Starting with Knight's Kingdom I, I think the theme rebooted again. In 2002, the Blacksmith Shop used torsos shared by the Knight's Kingdom I Lions, so I consider those related. Of great interest is this keychain, where we find a minifig sporting a Wolfpack emblem on a KKI Bulls style torso. The importance of this keychain cannot be overstated in terms of this analysis, as it provides the crucial link to the majority of the pre-Knight's Kingdom sets. While Knight's Kingdom II initially appeared to be yet another reboot, this set combined Lion and Bull emblems of KKI with armor pieces distinctive of KKII (such as this piece, this piece, and this piece). I will conclude this era by mentioning the Vikings, a theme acknowledged under this site's Out of Production Sets as being worthy enough to go under the Castle banner. But is there actual evidence to support this supposedly stand-alone theme? I need some help on this one, as I think I remember seeing one of Vladek's Shadow Knights hidden in one of the Viking scenes, most likely from the inside cover flap of this set (I no longer own the box and cannot find sharp enough images on-line).

Most would agree that Castle rebooted yet again in 2007, now under the appropriately confusing title of Castle where we had Crown Knights, Dwarves, Trolls, and Skeletons, as well as neutral peasants. But was this new Castle theme truly unrelated to its predecessors? Some were quick to point out similarities in the crown emblem and quartered designs of the oldest Classic Castle factions, but I think those similarities are generic enough to not constitute an actual link (inspiration perhaps for the LEGO design team, but nothing "in Castle-verse," so to speak). The only other possible link for the 2007 Castle theme to anything in the past would be via the Vikings (and the possible hidden Shadow Knight) provided by this notorious image from the LEGO Magazine, where pure speculation marks The Northern Sea as a Vikings reference. Again, this is mostly speculation and while all the other markings on that map have manifested themselves in one way or another, the link between 2007 Castle and KKII seems far-fetched to say the least. Additionally, that LEGO Magazine map also shows us this which, combined with the Collectible Minifigures Series 3 Elf’s bio (as already discussed in this thread, allows us to group the Elf(s) along with the rest of the Fantasy Era theme.

Finally we arrive at Kingdoms, the latest and current Castle incarnation. Is this new theme related to the previous one? Sure, the Lions and Dragons emblems and minifig designs are similar to the Crownies, as are the building styles, but is that enough? Luckily, the definite link comes in the form of the mere peasants, since both the blacksmith and barmaid appear in the Crownie Medieval Market Village as well as the Kingdoms Advent Calendar.

So there you have it, folks. Whether or not ALL of the Castle-verse is related is a matter of opinion, but certainly a lot of it is. There are other things to consider as well, for instance is this the same blue wizard that is found in this set and/or this set, or maybe they are all part of the same blue wizard clan?

Comments and corrections welcome.
Last edited by BlackenedPurple on Thu Jan 13, 2011 9:36 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: The Missing Link(s): Linking Together The LEGO Castle-verse

Postby Karalora » Thu Jan 13, 2011 4:23 am

davidant32 wrote:I need some help on this one, as I think I remember seeing one of Vladek's Shadow Knights hidden in one of the Viking scenes, most likely from the inside cover flap of this set (I no longer own the box and cannot find sharp enough images on-line).

What luck! As it happens, I own that set (I managed to pick it up just as the Vikings were on the verge of disappearing--I couldn't resist adding the sea serpent to my fantasy menagerie!)...but I have just scrutinized the inside cover flap of the box and didn't spot any Shadow Knights. It was all horned helmets and runic shields as far as the eye could see.

Still, it seems like a no-brainer that the Vikings would be connected to the Castle universe. History itself supports this idea--actual medieval history is a bit shy on dragons and wizards, but it's got marauding Danes in spades. (Come to think of it, though, the LEGO Vikings are always on the defensive, from the monsters of their own mythology. Danish revisionist propaganda, perhaps?)
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Re: The Missing Link(s): Linking Together The LEGO Castle-verse

Postby Owen » Sat Jan 15, 2011 3:19 pm

I find this topic very interesting to speculate about. I've rationalized the LEGO Castle-verse to myself as a chronological rise and fall of the factions. I completely understand why people feel the theme has rebooted several times, but looking for direct links has given the factions a unique sense of place and history to me.

Here is a quick chart of what I mean:

PS I have been frequently visiting CC for over a year now and have found it to be a very warm community. Just want to say hello to everyone.
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Re: The Missing Link(s): Linking Together The LEGO Castle-verse

Postby Frank_Lloyd_Knight » Sat Jan 15, 2011 4:10 pm

This is a really intriguing analysis. It never occurred to me to try to tie in all the factions and examine their relationships across the entire era.
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Re: The Missing Link(s): Linking Together The LEGO Castle-verse

Postby OrangeBlooded31 » Mon Jan 17, 2011 1:37 am

It's pretty cool how you tied all the factions together and worked out that chart.

I kind of viewed the different factions as different "locations" in the Lego Castle world. Pretty much basing the different locations, on the detail of arcitecture (design) in the models. As in Crownies, Lion and Dragon Knights are from one area of the Castle world, and the original sets from the 80's where from another location.

I just view them as all living in their own kingdoms on one big world map.
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Re: The Missing Link(s): Linking Together The LEGO Castle-verse

Postby Tower of Iron Will » Mon Jan 17, 2011 10:12 pm

Someone has way too much time on their hands... :roflol:

Yes, I agree to the logic of the analysis and for some of the newer and/or younger members here this should be quite informative. It can be used to blend in older elements or not. Even though one could make the link from the original Yellow Castle "Crown" Knights to the 2007 "Crown" Knights because they both employ a crown as their coat of arms, in my LEGOverse I do not. This is up to the individual builder.
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Re: The Missing Link(s): Linking Together The LEGO Castle-verse

Postby theboywarrior » Wed Jan 19, 2011 5:11 pm

[quote="Tower of Iron Will"]Someone has way too much time on their hands... :roflol:

too true...totally agreed :lol:

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