Legends in Films

Missgien's Malta Experience

Guy Forsyth Band


The movie 'Excalibur' is not just about the Sword, although it is an important part of it. The sword in the Stone, the Sword of the Lady of the Lake, the question whether or not these two are the same will probably be a question for a long time more.
How do you know what is legend and what is thruth. The modern man seems to think that everything that cannot be explained from either science or Christianity has to be legend: not true, not proven, pagan.
To me, the movie is a great masterpiece in which most important parts of the Arthurian Legend are told: Arthur meeting Lancelot, the love of Lancelot and Guinevere, Merlin and Morgana, the Holy Grail and, of course, the Sword.
Of course, knights did not walk around in their armour all day. Even worse: in the early Middle Ages there were no armours like the ones in the movies, lest that they were as shiney. But who cares... since I have not yet seen a better movie about the Arthurian Legend. Of course there's 'Merlin', but fortunately that's a miniseries. To me it is the most complete version of the Arthurian legend ever shown. I cannot wait 'till The Mists of Avalon is going to be released...

The sword in the stone
A version of the legend
King Uther Pendragon desired Ygraine, the wife of the Duke of Cornwall, Gorlois and the mother of Morgana. So he declared war on Gorlois and killed Ygraine's husband. Meanwhile Uther slept with Ygraine by means of magic. Arthur was conceived, and later Uther and Ygraine were married. Arthur was raised by Sir Ector. After King Uther's death Arthur proved his right to the throne by removing a sword that was embedded in a rock. The independent kings of Britain did not accept Arthur as their king, but were defeated in battle and Arthur became king of all of Britain.
Why was Excalibur sealed in this stone in the first place? (if this sword was Excalibur at all...). Some legends say that the Lady of the Lake gave the sword to Merlin to give to Arthur's father, King Uther, but he used the swords power unwisely. So Merlin took the sword from Uther and stuck it in a stone using his magic so that no one could ever get it out unless he was the true King of all of Britain.

The marriage
King Arthur marries Guinevere, the daughter of King Leodegrance, King of Cameliard.
Arthur received a hundred knights as a wedding gift as well as the famous Round Table (some legends declare that Merlin created the Round Table. (Legends will be legends: we will never know!).
In some versions of the legend there is talk about two (or even three!) Guineveres. Two wives with the same name, who both were barren. Who is to tell that Arthur had no children (supposing he did really exsist). There is only talk of no son, no heir. Because, as we all know, girls were not worth mentioning in those days, they could not succeed their fathers.

Morgana and Merlin
Morgan Le Fay, daughter of Ygraine and the Duke of Cornwall and therefor Arthur's half-sister, was an enchantress, who had her education at Avalon - the mystical Isle.
One of the legends tells us that she made the scabbard which protected the sword and it's carrier. She steals the 'charm of making' from Merlin, but does not quite know how to use it. She has used all her powers to stay young and beautiful and the power of the charm takes her last powers away.
In the movie's version of the legend, Morgana is the mother of Mordred. There are also versions in which Morgause -another half-sister of Arthur- is the one who seduces him and mothers Mordred.

The charm of making
Anail Nathrach. . . Uatha Bha'is Bith. . .Thonn Du'iseacnt. . . Le De'anamh E!
Dragon's breath. . . Death's Cave . . . Waves of Being. . . Awaken with Making!

misc indexMove on to Joan of Arc