Guy Ritchie’s King Arthur: Legend of the Sword does not feature a quest for the Holy Grail. Not once does someone in it sing about how fun it is to be happily-ever-aftering in Camelot. You won’t find a single Roman cavalry officer who wants to retire. It has no young Viking princes seeking a spot at the round table. And Merlin? He gets name-checked a few times, and there’s one shot of him in a flashback, but that’s it. Lancelot and Guinevere don’t even get a mention. Continue reading
JULY / AUG 2015: BY MARIANNA KAPLUN
“May God grant us the wisdom to discover right, the will to choose it, and the strength to make it endure.”
Arthur was the famous king of England of the late 5th and early 6th centuries. He lived such a long time ago that we know very little about him. This king had such strange adventures, and did such wonderful things, that people have never tired of writing, reading and filming about him and his famous Knights of the Round Table. Continue reading
JAN / FEB 2014: BY GINA DALFONZO
I’m a bit of a girly girl, and have always loved fairy tales, so you might expect that my favorite Disney animated classic would be a princess movie. And it’s true that for a long time I was all about the princesses. I saw Cinderella three times as a child (trust me, before DVD players, that was a big deal). Beauty and the Beast didn’t come out till I was in high school, but I fell hard for it anyway. But my all-time favorite animated Disney classic doesn’t have a princess in it; it’s about a poor but plucky young boy, and instead of a fairy godmother, it has a wonderfully wacky wizard.
The Sword in the Stone came out in 1963, years before I was born. It was based on T. H. White’s novel of the same name, the first part of his famous Arthurian trilogy The Once and Future King. (This trilogy was fertile ground for adapters; Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe later made it the basis for the Broadway musical Camelot.) Continue reading
MARCH / APRIL 2013: BY LAURA F.
It was unnatural, Lancelot had decided long ago, to be tied to a land not one’s own, to be forced to serve any master but oneself. For fifteen years, he’d chafed in service to the Romans, fighting their wars alongside his compatriots, rendering unto Caesar the service their fathers had promised him generations ago. In those years, he’d seen countless good men die violent, painful deaths —to what end? Despite the flattery the Romans used when speaking of the Sarmatians’ service, they all knew the truth: Britain was a failed experiment. His Sarmatian brothers who died in conflict died in vain, for Rome was withdrawing. With the ever-present threat of the native Britons now compounded by the threat of the Saxons invading from the north, Rome had admitted defeat and turned tail in order to protect its more valued territories, not wanting to waste more time, energy, or men on a sure disaster. Continue reading
MAY / JUNE 2011: BY LYDIA WATSON
One legend has intrigued people for generations: the stories of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table have been told in many different ways over the years from an animated version about a clumsy boy discovering his true purpose to the heartbreak of a King finding out his finest knight is in love with his wife. These tales often focus on Arthur: who he is, how he became king, or how he deals with being king. In the background but just as much a part of the legend as Arthur is, is Merlin, the mysterious wizard, sometimes funny, sometimes serious, but always powerful and there to help Arthur. Continue reading
MAY / JUNE 2011: BY ESTHER ARCHER
The new series Camelot creates a storyline different to what we know of the legend of King Arthur. It begins with him as the child of peasants, naive and innocent to what has happened to the Kingdom until one day Merlin arrives and declares that the King, Uther Pendragon, is dead and Arthur is heir to the throne.
Unfortunately for Arthur, his half sister Morgan also has a rightful claim to the throne as his sole heir… until Merlin proves Arthur is Uther’s illegitimate child. This causes Morgan to create an army that threatens the new king before his kingdom is even established. The newly crowned Arthur is faced with the possibility of war upon his discovery and the lives of he and his men are threatened if they do not leave within a week. Morgan, her warlord allies and the people do not believe Arthur is capable of being king, but importantly Arthur does not believe he is meant to be king. But Merlin has experienced visions of future destruction and war in the land and believes Arthur is the king who will bring peace and unity to Camelot. For days, he speaks words of hope and life into young Arthur’s heart, who does not know that within him lies a great king who has wisdom, strength and power, but no one, including his own men, sees this in Arthur. Continue reading