William, a squire, is publically punished for impersonating his master, Sir Ector, in jousting competitions. He is placed in a pillory and food is thrown at him. Prince Edward, who William befriended during his jousting competitions, orders the guards to take him out of the pillory and knights him as "Sir William".
Balian takes his knight's oath from his dying father. As a knight, Balian is expected to protect the king and the kingdom as well as follow a moral code that emphasizes qualities such as bravery, courtesy and honor.