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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

A to Z Challenge: Knights of the Round Table

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I'm not sure if it was The Sword in the Stone, my dad's bedtime stories about Camelot, or Monty Python that did it to me, but I'm a huge fan of the stories of Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.

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!


Francine Howarth said...


Hee hee, great minds think alike. Arthur forever! Great Post.;)

For anyone who's never read "The Mists of Avalon", you've missed one of the best novels based on the Arthurial/Merlin legend.


Unknown said...

I might have to pick up the Crystal Cave series again now. They were such good books and the altered point of view that they offer on the traditional Arthur stories is really welcome.

Summer Ross said...

loring different takes on things can be a good adventure. Thanks for posting, I'm a fan of Camelot and sword and the stone.

Michael Di Gesu said...

I'm also a big fan of Arthur and Merlin.

Francine is correct. The Mists of Avalon is an awesome series.

Melme said...

Have you ever read, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court by Mark Twain? One of my favorite twists on the Arthur legends. Plus, I just love Twain!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

The Monty Python Lego skit was great! Dig that movie.

mshatch said...

I love the Crystal Cave series, and The Mists of Avalon is a definite must read.

jkraus8464 said...

I think I need to go and read and reread some of these. All I have in my mind right now is Richard Gere as Sir Lancelot and Sean Connery as King Arthur and those are might good images.

Lauri said...

Thanks for the reminder on the Mary Steward series. One of my kids is so into the Arthur legends right now. And yes, we can quote Monty Python - have you seen Spamalot?

Olivia said...

As a 90s kid, I was all about "A Kid in King Arthur's Court" - 90s culture worm holed into the medieval era. Wonderous.

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