Below scene 4 :
An illustration of Aesop’s fable “The fox and the crow.”
Below the boats in scene 5 :
Another illustration of Aesop’s fable about the monkey, who, on behalf of all the animals, asks the lion to be their king. Could this be the situation between Harold and William?
Scenes 10, 11 and 12 are in reverse order. The messenger should first inform William of Harold’s capture. Then the Duke’s two messengers ride to Beaurain where, in the name of their lord, they demand Harold’s release.
In scene 10 :
Turold, an enigmatic character. He is probably the taller of the messengers. He must have been well known, as he is one of the rare secondary characters whose name is mentioned. It is also thought that he might be the bearded dwarf holding the horses’ bridles in this scene.
Below scene 10 :
A scene showing ploughing, sowing and harrowing. A falconry scene can also be seen.
Above the building separating scenes 10 and 11 :
Two female centaurs.
Below scene 11 :
A bear-hunting scene, a very popular pastime of the period.
In scene 13 :
The Duke of Pontieu’s curious mount. Is it a donkey or a mule? Two camels and a couple of naked men facing each other can also be seen in the upper and lower borders.
Above scene 14 :
Two peacocks. One of them is showing its tail. Might they symbolise the two lords and the pride of one of the two?
Scene 15 remains one of the most mysterious in the Tapestry:
The mysterious Aelfgifu. She is sometimes thought to be Harold’s younger sister, who was promised to a Norman baron during these negotiations, and sometimes Agatha, Duke William’s eldest daughter, who was betrothed to Harold during his stay in Normandy. The typically Anglo-Saxon name Aelfgifu is said to have been given to her on this occasion.
It is also supposed that this scene would be familiar to and understood by everyone, given the lack of verb, which implies “you know very well”. It could be an allusion to a scandal. The naked, rather obscene man shown under the lower band in a position similar to that of the cleric would tend to imply this. But it remains a complete mystery.
It might also be a seidhhjallr, a ritual construction, under which the volur, Scandinavian prophetesses, used to exercise their talents. The cleric would therefore be trying to wipe out this act of witchcraft`
Above scene 16 :
Two amphisbaenae, serpents with a head at either end.
In the lower border of scene 17 :
Two gryphons, legendary animals, half lion, half eagle. Two eels and other fish representing the fauna of the mouth of the river Couesnon. According to some, this might also symbolise the snake and fish constellations, and the figures which follow represent the shepherd, the great bear, the eagle, the lion and the centaur.
Above the boat in scene 14 :
Two manticores, legendary anthropophagous creatures with the head of a man, the body of a lion and the tail of a scorpion.
Scenes 26, 27 and 28 are reversed.
Curiously, the funeral scene precedes the death of the king. Was the intention to frame the king’s funeral to mark its importance?
In scene 31 :
Stigand, Archbishop of Canterbury. In fact, it is thought to be Alfred, Archbishop of York who crowned the new king. But it suited Harold’s opponents on the continent to have people believe that it was Stigand. At that time, Stigand was excommunicated, and any sacrament he might dispense could be declared null and void.
From the scene of the coronation of Harold Godwinson:
A new type of decoration appears in the upper and lower borders. It is a very fine twining stem between two diagonal beams.
In scene 41 :
The Knight Wadard. This knight presumably plays an important role. He may be responsible for supplying the armies of the Duke of Normandy.
In scene 43 :
Bishop Odo of Conteville. He is recognisable by his tonsure and also the fish in front of him. This 29 September, the day of the great banquet, is a Friday. The ecclesiastic is therefore keeping the fast.
In scene 47 :
Two men set fire to a house. Two people escape. They symbolise the widow and the orphan, eternal victims of war.
In scene 48 :
Two pairs of naked men. Two of them have an English style moustache. Further to the right, a predator is lying in wait behind bushes, watching a donkey grazing.
In the lower border, a little behind Duke William, a falcon is chasing a hare. Are all these animals symbols of the conquest?
In scene 49 :
Vital, the knight. He goes before Duke William to warn him that the Norman vanguard has seen the Saxon army.
In scene 52 :
Lewin and Gyrd. King Harold’s two brothers are, with Harold, the only two people killed in battle to be mentioned. Leofwine and Gyrth were the fourth and fifth sons of Earl Godwin of Essex.