The Medieval Secret To Besieging Castles That THEY Don’t Want You To Know (Wmm… Marginalia #118)

Today in the geekier parts of the blagosphere, an interesting Quora query quends trends: “What are the optimal siege tactics for taking Magic Kingdom’s Cinderella Castle?”

As it so happens, the Breviary of Renaud de Bar* provides the answer:

Did you go back and check to see if I put a joke in the alt text on account of the joke in the next line? I hope not, as I couldn't think of any. Really, I should've just deleted the joke and started with

In case you’re reading this from 1996 and have images turned off for quicker browsing, the answer is dogs. Dogs? Dogs! Lots of dogs!! But before you raid the local shelter and mount your attack, a word of caution. As the image clearly shows, one of those dogs should be King of the Dogs. If His Majesty‘s not available, you can make do with a dog that’s only King of Rather Quite a Lot of Dogs. If, however, there’s no king dog available at all, not even the King of a Couple of Royalist Holdout Dogs Who Mostly Just Think All the Pomp and Ceremony Adds a Certain Touch of Class to the Place Anyway, and if one cannot be quickly fashioned out of a sufficiently charismatic terrier and many common household items you probably have on hand already, it really is best to wait until His Royal Dogginess deigns dignify your droll little sally with his majesty.

In this case–and I cannot stress this enough–under no circumstances should you try to substitute foxes for dogs. A certain local fox’s tendency to nick around the back of the castle and rape** get friendly with your lady completely aside, foxes are pants at sieging. Longtime readers may remember this (via this post):***

In truly desperate and dogless times, I suppose you might could employ woodwoses, though they, too, have been known to nick around back and make time with your lady, so be on your guard.**** (As this other earlier***** post demonstrated:)

And, finally, should you protest that I have neglected to consider the fact that the Magic Kingdom has sizable reserves of meeces to call upon to protect its crown jewel, then surely you are remembering one final scene of marginal besiegery once discussed****** here. Just as I must commend your memories for bringing up the point, I must also cede it. Castles are all but invulnerable once mice have taken them over; don’t even try to re-siege your former home, just get over it already.******* Plenty of fish with castles in the sea.


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  1. * A fourteenth-century manuscript in two parts. The winter portion survives as MS Yates Thompson 8 at the British Library, the summer as Verdun Bibliothèque municipale MMS 107. The post’s image is from the summer portion, f. 137v. []
  2. ** Daniel Tosh Dampeners activated. Resistance to Topical Controversy holding steady at 82%. []
  3. *** Which introduced the concept of Monday Medieval Marginalia. My tendency to miss my self-imposed Monday deadlines was introduced shortly thereafter. []
  4. **** Though, come to think of it, in this example “you” have somehow become both sieger and besieger. (Or is it besieged and besiegeder?) So “you” could end the discussion here and just let “you” in the front to skip straight to the celebratory three-way with “your lady” (who may actually be a dude depending on how “your toast” is “buttered”.) []
  5. ***** Earlier than this present post; later than the post mentioned immediately previous to this note’s reference in the present post. []
  6. ****** But not discussed once. Discussed one, two, three times. []
  7. ******* Note, I’m purposely NOT including these final disturbing images in the text of the present post. Don’t follow the links that my vanity made me include in the text. The horror is too great, and the tragedy as well.  
    †  But while I have you here in the footnotes, a word to anyone still worried about the delay in this week’s post. As I already explained on Twitter in a humorous nonexplanatory way, certain unavoidable technical difficulties presented themselves, and so isn’t society then really to blame? Of course, if you don’t obsessively follow my tweets,§ you have only yourself to blame.  
    §  Though if you did obsessively follow them previously but recently unfollowed because of your shock and outrage at my Patton Oswald eel/penis joke,|| you could blame me if you wanted, as how could I expect you to see the delay tactic tweet with your having already unfollowed me in your aforementioned shock and outrage? In that very limited set of circumstances, consider this footnote my explanation. Or consider some other one explanation, if it seems to answer your fears more directly. Knock yourself out. I’m not really committed to this bit either way. 
    ||  And, yes, I know some of you are all about the eel/penis humor, so all about it that you have flooded my inbox with extensive (though, oddly, still tightly-plotted) Patton Oswald/Me-In-an-Eel-Suit slash-fiction. Please stop that immediately. If there were a way to make my entire blog shudder, this text would probably be harder to read, because I’d be honor bound to employ that technology.  

    FOOTNOTE STACK ERROR OVERRUN
    lp0 on fire
    (A)bort, (R)etry, (F)ail?
    []

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