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  • Designated Hero and Designated Villain: Excepting one or two members of Marsile's forces, the Saracens don't really do anything evil over the course of the story; their behaviour is in fact, nearly identical to that of Charles' forces.
    • Except, of course, Marsile's previous murder of Charles' ambassadors, his plotting the treachery against Roland, and Baligant's planned invasion of Charles' kingdom and the whole West.
  • Fridge Logic: Charlemagne is described as 200 years old. His sister's son Roland can't be more than 30. How exactly does that work?
  • Marty Stu: There exists another chanson de geste called Galiens li Restores ("Galien the Restituted") about a son Oliver had with a princess of Constantinople, whose presence at Roncevaux helps Roland and Oliver rout the Saracens and who later becomes Emperor of Constantinople.
  • Narm: Having the hero die not from getting killed in battle but from blowing a horn hard enough that his skull bursts is a little hard for modern audiences to take seriously.
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic: The Saracens are liable to come off this way to a modern audience, especially Baligant and his men, who played no part in Marsile's treachery. YMMV, of course.
  • Values Dissonance: In surprising example of a clash between early mediæval and later mediæval values, Archbishop Turpin tells Roland that a knight who is not brave, "is not worth 4 cents, and ought to be in a monastery, praying every day for our sins" -- because all bishops think more highly of knights than monks, right?
  • Woolseyism: The Swedish translation by Frans G. Bengtsson changes the assonances to a complex rhyme scheme and adds some Scenery Porn not in the original. Some people consider it an improvement.
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