With a hefty balance of VIP points accumulated, and a healthy number of giftcard LEGO Store dollars in Christmas presents, I headed out to the LEGO Store a couple weeks ago, and I came back with 10223 Kingdoms Joust, which was very exciting. This post will not go into that excellent, excellent set, but will only look at one of the minifigs--a minifig that caused immense excitement on Classic-Castle, because of his shield.
Yes, my friends, that is a Black Falcon.
The Black Falcons were, with the original Lion Knights, one of the two original factions of Legoland Castle (1984-1992). As such, they are more than qualified to be considered "Classic" Castle, the Yellow Castle notwithstanding. Unlike the Lions, which saw their heraldic reincarnated at least three times thereafter (four, if you're willing to count the Morcia lion), the Black Falcons never really returned (again, unless you count Morcia--but no one *I* know counts Jayko's Talonjay as a Black Falcon province). What is more, while most redone Lions featured new colour-schemes and completely revisited shield designs (for example, the red-blue-white Royal Knight lion head has little in common with the classic lion, beyond having a lion), the Black Falcon shield here is very obviously a take-away from the original black falcon shield.
The reverse-image falcon in black/white (silver, in heraldic terms) has been retooled slightly, but the family image is unmistakable, and for simple nostalgic reasons, its bearer is currently one of my favourite figs. He's been very slightly modified, with his original dark green plume replaced with a white one. In the set, the dark green plume helps make the knight match his dark green and black tent, which I assume is that colour to make it compatible with the current Lion Knights' rivals, the dark green-flavoured Dragon Knights. Indeed, my Dragon Knight from 7187 Escape from Dragon's Prison has already moved in and taken over the tent. This freed me up to give the Black Falcon a white plume. I considered giving him a dark blue plume, in honour of the blueness of the classic Black Falcons, but white seemed more appropriate.
It's also worth nothing that while the barding of the Black Falcon knight here lacks any specific Falcon heraldry, it is still the first "Black Falcon barding" the LEGO Company has made, and the lack of definite heraldry only makes it more generically useful.