Joan of Arc
Joan of Arc needs no introduction. But what shocks many who believe Gilles to be guilty of all charges is that this monster was intimately acquainted with the Maid of OrlÃ©ans, whose brief intervention marked a change in fortune for the French in the Hundred Years’ War. Gilles was likely present when she first met the Dauphin in 1429, and led the army that escorted Joan to OrlÃ©ans after she received royal permission. Gilles was also in command of the soldiers whose aggressive intervention at the Siege of OrlÃ©ans, at the behest of Joan, caused an unlikely French victory.
Gilles heroically rescued the tactically-naive Joan at Saint-Loup, a victory that was instrumental in the relief of OrlÃ©ans, and his bravery and experience were vital to Joan’s success over the next few months. Although, with posterity, Joan gets all the credit, Gilles was not forgotten by his countrymen in 1429. For Gilles was honored with the addition of a royal fleur-de-lis on his coat of arms, and the title Marshal of France, an award for exceptional military achievement. The two were together to see the coronation of Charles VII at Reims, but their success was not to last.
After Joan’s disastrous attack on Paris, when Gilles again saved her, their military association mysteriously ends. She was later captured, and burned at the stake in 1431. There have long been rumors that Gilles was in love with Joan. Inevitably, all blame is attached to the monster, with Joan seen as too pure for any such base thoughts. However, the story seems unlikely. Joan was seen as divinely ordained by God Himself, and for all his (possible) faults, evidence suggests that Gilles was a God-fearing man even until his death. He was also likely a practicing homosexual, despite his marriage.