Bossard, in trying to date the Mystère du Siège d'Orléans, goes to great lengths to establish that it must have been written and staged prior to Gilles de Rais' disgrace in 1440. After that time, he insists, the playwright could not have shown Gilles at Jehanne's side, praised by her as one of her nobles, vaillans princes gentilz, and playing a decisive part in her victory. Nor would any audience have tolerated the spectacle.
The picture below was published in International History Magazine in 1974. It shows a pageant in honour of Jehanne d'Arc and riding by her side is a dark, bearded figure who clearly represents Gilles de Rais. So, although Gilles was expunged from French history books and, indeed, from many contemporary chronicles for reasons that Bossard makes all too plain, evidently he has always played a part in local celebrations. Orléans celebrated its liberation yearly and Gilles was a principle agent in that victory. He was fond of Orléans, once spending almost a year there, and the Orléanais were fond of him, and bought his standard to use in their reenactments. His reputation there was that of a hero and a generous patron of the arts. It seems quite likely that, in the general disbelief at his fall from grace, the Orléanais were likely to be more cynical than most and that he would have kept his place in the annual celebrations, as he does today.