The middle ages must have been a boom time for Home Depot and Lowes. Royalty of every rank built castles; castles with strong walls, moats and general defence in mind.
If you were a sufficiently wealthy royal, you’d join with your king or queen and they would find castles of other royals – loyal to other kings or queens – that he or she figured were vulnerable. Or had in some way interfered with their estates or bruised their knee or something.
The point is that alliances were constantly shifting. Intrigue and grasping for power was the way they operated, the drive that kept those with the resources motivated.
Being a royal subject anchored a lot of everyday folk. Allegiance wasn’t lightly undertaken, and often the cost was high. Fighting for the perceived common aim formed the backbone of many lives, particularly the men.
This might come as a surprise to women, but men still want to ally themselves, and with one special woman…one they consider to be special. Men are commonly thought to be flighty when it comes to loyalty, but evidence is mounting (if you’ll pardon the expression) that this is not an accurate characterization. We want to be an equal and different half in an equal relationship, but the whole idea appears to be slipping away from us. We’re under siege, and we’re not quite sure why, nor what happened.
Yes, men must be admirable to be admired, but that effort is only worth the sacrifice if we’re admired by someone we think will be there for us.