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Thread: 'King Arthur' - The Movie

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    'King Arthur' - The Movie

    Who has seen this movie? For those who have? How was it?

    Is it a realistic portrayal of the Anglo-Saxon peoples? My knowledge of King Arthur lore is limited, but I certainly never imagined him looking like that. How accurate is the relationship between King Arthur and Merlin?

    For those who are interested in learning more of King Arthur, I suggest reading Mary Stewarts "Merlin Trilogy."

    Delves into the childhood of Merlin, his upbringings as an unwanted, bastard child, the equivilent of perhaps Damien, then to his discovery of the Crystal Caves and later on to his relationship with Arthur (was his name Uther as his fathers was? I do not recall.)

    I have not seen it, but I may go next weekend to do so. From what I saw on the website, it looks to be amazingly good, with excellent costume design and what-not.

    Celts vs. Vikings
    I cannot wait!

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    I haven't yet seen it either--though I surely wouldn't mind.

    I have read a few reviews however. Apparently, it sets Romano-Celt, Arthur agains the invading Saxons. Also in this version, there is a group called the 'Woads'. I'm not sure what a 'Woad' is--perhaps a more rustic Celtic tribe??

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    King Arthur

    Well, I finally saw this film last night.

    My opinions on it are sort of mixed. While I enjoyed the storyline on a completely superficial level, it still seemed a bit typical and watered down, run of the mill "hero saves the day" kind of Hollywood bullshit. Of course, my favorite part of the film were the Saxon invaders, no matter how ruthless they were portrayed. The Saxon king was truly glorious in his brutality. His son, on the other hand, annoyed me greatly. I did enjoy the costumes, which all seemed authentic enough. Now, I am no expert on Arthurian legend, but am I the only one who had never heard of Woads before? From what I knew of Merlin (based primarily on Mary Stewarts Merlin Trilogy) Merlin was actually related to Arthur, and that he was a magical man, who discovered the Crystal Caves, and was basically a hermit, who helped Arthur out on occassion. Am I wrong? He was not the leader of a band of rebels who I am assuming are native Welsh tribes. And I thought that in the more classical sense, Arthur identified strictly with his Welsh (Briton) blood, and was no Roman soldier, fighting for the cause of Roman expanionism.

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    I haven't seen this film yet, but I'll make a few general comments anyway. I suppose there are many different ways one could interpret the character of Merlin, though in several different accounts I have seen him described as related to Arthur in some fashion. As far as Arthur himself is concerned, he could hardly have been a Roman soldier in the strict sense of the term, because the Romans withdrew from Britain in 409 AD, whereas Arthur is usually thought of as having lived in the 500's AD. But, there is a case to be made that a good portion of the British population, for a century or so after the Roman withdrawal from Britain, still thought of themselves as Romano-Britons (if you will), who would still have been aware of and adhered to certain elements of Roman military doctrine, organization, and technology, as well as having a certain degree of Roman influence in their culture (particularly in the use of Latin for all written communication), not to mention subscribing to a Church that was still ruled from Rome (since Celtic Christianity was more an Irish/Gaelic than a British phenomenon). So, given that the Roman influence on Britain did not instantly disappear with the withdrawal of the Roman legions, it's probably not inappropriate to depict Arthur as having both British/Welsh and residual Roman elements in his character and sense of identity.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Telperion
    I haven't seen this film yet, but I'll make a few general comments anyway. I suppose there are many different ways one could interpret the character of Merlin, though in several different accounts I have seen him described as related to Arthur in some fashion. As far as Arthur himself is concerned, he could hardly have been a Roman soldier in the strict sense of the term, because the Romans withdrew from Britain in 409 AD, whereas Arthur is usually thought of as having lived in the 500's AD. But, there is a case to be made that a good portion of the British population, for a century or so after the Roman withdrawal from Britain, still thought of themselves as Romano-Britons (if you will), who would still have been aware of and adhered to certain elements of Roman military doctrine, organization, and technology, as well as having a certain degree of Roman influence in their culture (particularly in the use of Latin for all written communication), not to mention subscribing to a Church that was still ruled from Rome (since Celtic Christianity was more an Irish/Gaelic than a British phenomenon). So, given that the Roman influence on Britain did not instantly disappear with the withdrawal of the Roman legions, it's probably not inappropriate to depict Arthur as having both British/Welsh and residual Roman elements in his character and sense of identity.
    While what you say is true, it doesn't change the fact that Arthur was usually identified as Welsh royalty, fighting to keep the Saxons from invading Wales. The "Romano-Briton" elements were hardly mentioned, if at all, (that I can remember) in the stories I always read.

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    I'd agree the emphasis in Arthur's character should be primarily on his Welshness (if that's a word), given the time in which he lived. Though if I'm not mistaken, the earliest accounts are from Geoffrey of Monmouth in any case. Emphasizing the Roman elements seems a relatively recent phenomenon in stories about author. Possibly Jack Whyte's recent "Skystone" series about the Arthurian saga has something to do with this trend.

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    The Arturian legend is based on several rulers, through several epochs,
    and part of the legend is rooted in Sarmatian/Caucasus legends.

    There are so many legends written about JFK, it's impossible to find the clear truth about that, let alone legends which went through so many interpretations.

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