The books about Ximene offer a multitude of locations and situations which would be most suitable for presentation on the screen.
Ximene as a Teenager –
The Blue Pyrenees- not blue at all except in the distance; every shade of green and grey, dotted with patches of white from limestone abutments and snow-covered peaks.
Château de Foix-perched on its rocky outcrop,
Her grandmother’s accomodation- Ornate fittings and improbable architecture. Palatial but private rooms scattered around the lower rock at Foix.
The cavern deep underneath the chateau – an inexhaustible supply of warm spring water, supplied by a natural waterfall, where Ximene and her friends bathed and played naked.
Ximene in her role as Diana –
The English court – Rich formal costumes for men and women, ornate furniture, polished woodwork, small orchestras, a profusion of freshly cut flowers and servants running around seeking to attend to the whims of every individual guest.
Ximene in her role as the Eagle –
Recruitment centres –Dingy warehouses in London, Bordeaux and Palermo where she welcomes new recruits to The Shadow. Her appearance is however accompanied by special effects and is carefully choreographed. She retains an allure of mystery by only appearing on a balcony, isolated from the recruits. On these occasions she wears an eagle mask, black military uniform, a black cape lined with golden feathers and gloves with a golden talon on every finger.
At sea – Silhouetted at the bow of one of the Xbec sailing ships specially designed for her fleet, travelling at breathtaking speed through the turbulent seas in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Ashore in the Levant- Riding one of her two magnificent horses at breakneck speed with the army of the Emir of Karaman, in a desperate defence against Turkic invaders who threaten her trading routes.
In Venice- Comfortably settled in the Emir’s harem of his European heaquarters, surrounded by oriental architecture in the company of giggling groups of scantily dressed concubines.
John as a teenager-
The Wirral peninsula – Attacked by wolves whilst guarding sheep. Walks at low tide to Hilbre Island surrounded by every sea bird imaginable.
John as a squire –
Shipwreck at Arcachon – Turquoise waves thundering onto the beach and how, when his ship foundered, the waves nearly ended his life.
Clermont- The Cathar ritual on the hill above the Château, with the silvery snake of the Garrone river in the background. There he witnessed the ultimate erotic performance performed by Joan of Kent and the Earl of Salisbury.
As the favorite of Joan of Kent-
Various grand Châteaux- Endless provocative teasing, by the granddaughter of a king of England. She is usually clothed in dresses which conceal absolutely nothing.
John as captain of the Prince’s personal bodyguard-
The court of Aquitaine – State receptions and dinners at the Prince’s court on the waterfront in Bordeaux. Similar to the English court but with architecture inspired by the Alcazar in Seville. Marble pools, fountains and elaborate uniforms.
John as tournament champion of Europe –
The promotional spectacle – heralds, trumpets, drums and parading knights.
One specific tournament – At one endof the arena, a sea of red and white. Flags and pennants of Aquitaine! Both sides solid red with a large number of flags carrying the unusual twelve-pointed cross of Occitan. At the other end another blaze of colour. This time yellow and white stripes with each of the yellow stripes carrying small five-pointed stars. The colours of the Trencavels! Ximene had gone to a lot of trouble to let him know that he was fighting for his Prince, his adopted nation and Ximene herself!
John as a Military Strategist-
Non-stop war – The invasion of Armagnac, the battles of Poitiers, Auray, and Najera. John’s strategies developed the massed use of the longbow by English and Welsh archers, backed up by disciplined troops of armed knights and the use of fiery projectiles from the dreaded Trebuchets.
John and Ximene Together-
Château Mazerou – The arched cellars, the tower room and the surrounding magnificent countryside. It was here that Ximene taught him to be her lover. It was here that Ximene started the regime which would turn her into a formidable female warrior. They trained together and as Ximene’s skills developed they fought against each other. It was the vast plains of the countryside in which they trained, which in itself gave the clues as to the location of Ximene’s family treasure.
The treasure – located in an underground cavern. The crossing of the lake within the cavern during which the flares on the boat seemed to be reflected from every ripple, causing the illusion that the lake was on fire.