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Something about the idealized romance of the stories, the idea of chivalry and "might for right" (which even in the stories is haphazard), and the magic of the every day hooked me from my first encounter.
If you're a novice to the stories, or are wanting to take a look at some different takes on the mythology, here are some of my favorite versions of the tales:
- The Sword in the Stone: A family friendly film adaptation of The Once and Future King, this tells the story of Arthur's training with Merlin and his origin as the king of England.This is probably the version most people are familiar with.
- The Once and Future King by T.H. White: My favorite novelization of the traditional story. Full of quirks and sarcastic remarks.
- Monty Python and the Holy Grail: The epitome of geekiness, and probably what most people thought of when I started mentioning Arthur. If you've never watched it, it's classic Monty Python. But, I would say don't watch it with big fans of the movie, because you'll never be able to hear it over them quoting their favorite parts.
- Mary Steward's Merlin Trilogy: A wonderful retelling of the Arthurian cycle from the viewpoint of Merlin. Some great unique twists are hidden within. A unique take in that it is almost completely free from magic use.
- Camelot: The classic musical that made me fall in love with Richard Harris. Full of humor and heartbreak, and songs that will stick with you forever.
- Mordred's Lullaby by Heather Dale: A haunting song that shows the viewpoint of the villains of the Arthurian cycle.
Hope this inspired you to check out more versions of the stories or explore them for the first time!