Men of Iron

Creator: Graham H. Moes
Age rating: 13 and older
A boy raised in exile must return and survive life at a medieval combat academy in order to challenge and kill a powerful earl before his falsely accused family is hunted down and executed for treason by King Henry IV.
Project collaboration: Closed
Synopsis: Myles Falworth remembers little of the night 10 years ago that shattered his world. A night that began with the arrival of a family friend to Falworth Castle and ended with the man’s murder at the hands of King Henry's men.

Only images remain: the outrage of his blind father... The screams of his mother... But most of all, the eyes of the knight towering over the corpse, a black-iron mace in his fist.

The family fled that night for the safety of church lands, a heaven on earth for now 16-year-old Myles -- until the day he’s sent away to a kinsman, the Earl of Mackworth, for an education in the ways of court.

What he gets instead is a cold shoulder from the politically wary Mackworth and a bunk in the squires’ barracks. In this dog-eat-dog world, Myles bucks the tyranny of the upperclassmen bachelor corps and their arrogant leader, Walter Blunt.

He also begins a secret relationship with Mackworth's niece, Alice de Mowbray. One promising dismissal (and dismemberment) if discovered.

Under the watchful eye of Sir James Lee, grizzled commandant of squires, Myles masters himself and his situation, subduing even Blunt in a duel. Yet in the process, he must also master his willingness to break the rules with Alice, something she can't understand.

Myles’ world changes again when King Henry visits, along with his estranged son – Prince Hal, future hero of Agincourt, King Henry V. Myles is made a Knight of the Bath – the highest order of knighthood – in order to joust for the king's amusement against a visiting French knight.

Victorious, Sir Myles finds himself in service to the Prince. He rides to war in Wales, gaining experience beyond his 17 years, leaving Alice behind with the rest of his dreams for something more in life. But his thoughts return to her often. He tries writing her, repeatedly, but gets only cold silence in return.

Soon, Myles and Prince Hal land in France, fighting alongside the shadow figure of his childhood nightmares – the Earl of Alban, his father’s persecutor, the king's enforcer, and the Prince's rival for the throne. He meets Walter Blunt again too, now a ranking captain of Alban’s army.

Myles survives the French in battle and a plot against his life from his own ranks before his identity is discovered...and the race home to save his father and mother begins.

En route, Myles finds help from an unlikely source. And learns a shocking truth – powerful men have been his protectors all along, raising the heir of Falworth to a height extraordinary for his age, placing him in a position to challenge Alban to single combat and shift the balance of power in England in the process.

He meets Alice one last time. Still stung by his past "indifference," she professes her love for him over, a lie Myles must endure even as he prepares to face his father's enemy.

In the end, Myles and Alban meet, standing toe to toe in the royal combat arena of Smithfield, young zeal pitted against veteran skill. And in the end, Myles triumphs – though it's victory at a painful price – and the world knows at last the man of iron the boy knight has become.

Latest Work

  • Script 1 - Graham's Original Draft
    Creative Notes:
    Based on the classic novel by Howard Pyle. (Public domain.) Previously filmed as "The Black Shield of Falworth" with Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh. This version is grittier and more authentic, yet still family friendly in tone. 'PG' rating intended for maximum appeal, 'R' possible, depending on how the action is handled.