After his knight master's death in a tournament the man's squire, peasant and aspiring jouster William, decides to finish the tournament while by impersonating his felled master in order to earn the prize money. He wins that tournament, which prompts him to enter more of them, enlisting the help of his friends Wat and Roland to give him further training. They meet with a man named Chaucer who agrees to create false genealogy papers for William to give him a new identity as a knight and allow him to keep competing. After Chaucer acts as his herald, William saves him from debtors and the pair became friends.
An honorable favor William offers to a defeated opponent earns him the attention of beautiful lady Joceylyn who earlier scorned him. William is later defeated by another jouster, Adhemar, who is after glory and Joceylyn's love. With the help of the female blacksmith Kate, William receives better armor. Despite his failure to defeat Adhemar, Jocelyn is still interested and asks him to attend a dance with her where he continues to charm her. At the next tournament the jousters are set to face off against the dreaded Black Prince of Wales. Adhemar defers but Ulrich arrogantly chooses to fight him, which impresses the prince. Although he defeats him, he still isn't satisfied since he hasn't beaten Adhemar.
Adhemar discovers William's secret and threatens him, also swearing he will marry Jocelyn. After a visit with his estranged father in London, William goes to a world championship jousting tournament only to be arrested for his genealogical lies. He is placed in the stocks but the prince arrives and frees William, knighting him so that he can now compete legally. Cheating Alemar wounds William with a sharpened lance but William chooses to shed his armor and finish the battle. Proudly revealing his true name, William charges his foe and defeats him.