This film deserves far more credit than it appears to have received. Yes it is linked to the Exceptional Game of Thrones, mainly through the actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau but it offers so much more.
The story itself is driven by two central characters Martin played by Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Georg (Peter McDonald). Both orphans who are parted as youngsters and who undertake 2 very different journeys, Martin becomes a soldier Georg a Friar. 15 Years later they are reunited Georg has become a Friar of great standing within the city Martin a war weary soldier who has begun to question the rules set out by the Church. It is whilst visiting his long lost friend that Martin spies and falls in Love with the Executioners daughter Anna played by Anastasia Griffith . Thought to be amongst the lowest of the low (Historical fact: Executioners lived on the outskirts of the town or village where they plied their trade. They were considered to be untouchables and only an Executioner would marry another Executioners daughter). Martin fathers a child with Anna and being not only a man of honour but also madly in love with her he marries her and as a consequence must himself become the Executioner on the death of Anna's father, no other job being available to him once he became linked in such an intimate way with the Executioner and his family.
Fabio, the Executioners assistant is not pleased about this as he himself had expected (quite rightly) to marry Anna and take over from her father on his death and so he sets out to discredit Martin and destroy his family. How he does this I won't ruin by telling you but it involves a theft from the church and the arrival of the Inquisition which was never a good sign.
The level of research that went into this film is truly astounding. For those in the know Martins life, being a soldier, falling in love with an Executioners daughter and becoming an Executioner himself Mirrors the early life of Charles Sanson (1658-1695) of Abbeville. The Great Grandfather and Sire of the French dynasty of Executioners named Sanson. The life of an Executioner likewise was portrayed very accurately. Thought to be ignorant, many were in fact highly educated (self taught) even though they were banned from schools or attending any classes where the general population might attend.
All in all this is a very well researched, well written and superbly acted piece of work and I believe you would be hard pressed to find it's equal. To be honest I had just watched another film concerning the Inquisition "The Pit and the Pendulum with Lance Erickson and compared to this that film was truly atrocious.
Give this one a try I don't think you will be disappointed. Unfortunately there are no extras on the DVD but to be honest when you have a film this good who needs extras, the film stands alone as most Masterpieces should.