This a thread for the discussion of that most legendary English monarch, the once and future king, the man we call King Arthur. It is also for the discussion of Camelot, the Round Table and the Knights that sat there, and the politics of the court.
Topics to kick off discussion:
>What's your favorite Arthurian romance?
>What's your favorite historical analysis of King Arthur?
>Does your country have a cultural counterpart(s) to King Arthur?
>Favorite piece of modern (20th-21st century) Arthurian media?
[spoiler]inb4 Monty Python and FSN[spoiler]
I don't understand that.
You forgive someone when they forget to wipe their boots before coming inside your house and muddying up your clean floors.
You don't forgive adultery.
That's the kind of the stuff that gets you flayed alive.
>You don't forgive adultery.
Spoken like a true KEK.
King Arthur is a Christian King, but he is also High King of Celtic tradition, where Kingship is akin to a divine sacrifice.
He has no heirs.
He is the land, he is the nation.
He is the KEK in us all, and must forgive, give away to the new generation.
Yeah, how did that work out for you in the long run?
When a man cheated on his wife here, he would get beaten to death by her and her brothers. When a woman cheated on her husband, she would get boiled alive in a cauldron or quartered by horses.
Don't be a retard. There is a historical basis for Arthur. He was probably a warlord who fought at Badon Hill in the late 5th century. There is archaeological evidence that the Saxon advance was stalled for a generation around that date near Badon.
Where war and woe and wonder
Have been known frequently,
And by turn bliss and despair
Have changed places suddenly.
And when this Britain was built by noble knights,
Bold men were bred in it who loved fighting,
And they made trouble in the course of time.
More marvels have happened, often, in this land
Than in any other I know, since that first age.
But of all who lived here as kings of Britain
Arthur was ever the noblest, as I have heard tell.
So I tend to tell of one adventure that happened
Which some have considered a marvel to behold,
One of the wonders that are told about Arthur.
If you will listen for a little while while to my lay
I shall tell it as I heard it in the hall,
As it is set down
In a strong story,
With true letters written
Together in the old way.
This King Arthur was staying at Camelot at Christmastime
With many fair lords and the most beautiful ladies
And the whole high brotherhood of the Round Table
In happy festivity and the high revels of the season.
The men charged in tournaments again and again,
Noble nights jousting in high spirits!
Then they rode to the court and danced to carols,
And the feast went on like that a full fifteen days,
With all the food and entertainment anyone could imagine.
The laughter and merrymaking were a glory to hear,
A happy din all day and dancing at night,
All on a high note in halls and chambers,
With lords and ladies as they liked it best.
They stayed there together with all the wealth in the world,
The most famous knights under Christ Himself,
And the most beautiful ladies who ever lived,
And the finest of all was the King holding the court,
All of these fair folk there in the hall
in their first age,
The most fortunate under heaven,
The highest King, famous for his will,
Now it would be hard for anyone
To name a hardier man than he.
When the year had turned new only the night before
The company that day was served double at the high table.
When the King and his knights came into the hall,
The chanting in the chapel had come to an end
And a loud cry went up from the clerics and the others
Proclaiming Noël once more, calling out the word again,
And then the nobles ran and got the gifts ready,
Called out the New Year's presents, holding them high,
And the debated back and forth over the gifts,
The ladies laughed loudly, those that lost badly
And the winner was not disappointed, of that you can be sure!
All this celebration went on until dinner time.
When they had washed well, they went to sit at the table,
The most famous knights nearest the top, as was proper,
And Guenever, in high spirits, was seated in the middle of them,
In the arrangement of the famous table, with them arrayed around her,
The most beautiful there was the Queen,
Flashing her gray eye.
Yet Arthur would not eat until they were all served.
He seemed full of the joy of youth, almost childlike.
He was happy with his life; he cared little
For lying in bed or sitting still for a long time,
His young blood so stirred him and his wild brain.
And there was a custom, besides, that he meant to keep,
That he had assumed in his noble way: he would not eat
On such a holiday until he had been told
A new tale of some wonderful event,
Of some great marvel that he might believe
About kings, or arms, or other adventures,
Or unless someone came to ask for a proven knight
To join with him in jousting, putting his life in peril,
Risking life against life, each of them allowing
Fortune to grant the advantage to one of them.
This was the King's custom when he was holding court
At every great feast with his noble company
In the castle
So with his proud face there
Bravely he stands waiting
Bold in that New Year,
And joins in the merrymaking.
So the King in his strength was standing there by himself
Talking of court trifles to those at the high table.
There sat good Gawain with Guenever beside him
And Agravaine of the hard hand on the other side of her,
Both of them the King's nephews and famous knights.
Bishop Bawdewyn was up at the head of the table,
And then Ywain beside him, who was the son of Urien.
These were seated on the dais, and lavishly served,
And many renowned knights were near them at the side tables.
Then came the first course, to the blaring of trumpets
Rare and delicate dishes are served,
Mounds of fresh meat, and so many platters
That it was hard to find enough places
To set down the silver with the stews in it
on the tablecloth.
Each one as he pleases
Takes whatever he will.
For every two there are twelve dishes,
Good beer and bright wine both.
Now I will say no more about their service,
For all must know that no one lacked anything.
Another noise and a new one suddenly reached them
In less time than it takes to lift food to the lips.
Scarcely had the sound faded away again,
With the first course in the court properly served,
Than in at the hall comes a frightening figure,
He must have been taller than anyone in the world:
From the neck to the waist was so huge and thick,
And his loins and limbs so long and massive,
That I would say he was half a giant on earth.
At least I am sure he was the biggest of men.
Yet he sat with a matchless grace in the saddle.
His back and his chest and whole body was stern
And both his belt and belly were svelte and small
And all of his features were in proportion
to the rest of him.
But more than anything
His color amazed them:
A bold knight riding,
The whole of him bright green.
And all in green this knight and his garments
With a close-fitting coat that clung to his side,
A fine robe over it adorned on the inside
With furs cut to one color, an elegant lining
Trimmed brightly with white fur, and his hood also
That was caught back from his long locks and lay on his shoulders;
Neat, tight-tailored hose of that same green
Clung fast to his calf, and shining spurs below
Of bright gold, on silk bands enriched with stripes,
And so the knight rides with slippers on his feet
And all that he was wearing was indeed pure verdure
All around him and his saddle, silk embroidery
The tassels of his horse's trapping and the handsome crupper,
The studs on the enameled bit and all the other metal,
And the stirrups that he stood in were of the same color,
And his saddle bow also and the rest of the fastenings,
It all kept glimmering and glinting with green stones.
The horse that he was riding resplendent with the same hue
As all the rest.
A green horse, hard to handle,
A strong steed, huge and massive,
Tossing the embroidered bridle,
The right horse for that knight to have.
Yet he wore no helmet and no chain mail either,
Nor any breastplate, nor gauntlets on his arms,
He had no spear and no shield for thrusting and smiting,
But in his hand he held a branch of holly
That is the greenest of when the groves are bare,
And an ax in the other hand, huge and menacing
A fearsome bearded-ax to find words to tell of.
The length of its head was at least a yard and a half,
The point all hammered out of green steel and gold,
The blade brightly burnished, with a broad edge,
Shaped for shearing, sharp as razors.
The grim knight gripped the stout handle of the weapon.
It was wrapped with iron to the shaft's end
And all engraved with green in graceful designs.
Rich embroidery above buttons of bright green,
The knight rides straight ahead into the hall,
Making for the high dais, undaunted by anything,
With no greeting to anyone, but his eyes high above them.
The first sound from him: "Where," he said,
"Is the head of this gathering? I would be glad
To set eyes on that knight, and I have something to say to him."
Over the knights he cast his eye
Riding up and down,
Stooping and looking hard to see
Who might have most renown.
They went on staring at the knight for some time,
Everyone wondering what it might mean
For a man and a horse to acquire such a color,
As green as the grass grows, and greener still, it seemed,
The green enamel glowing brighter on the gold.
All of them standing there stared and crept closer to him
With all the wonder in the world, to see what he would do.
For they had seen many marvels but never any like this,
So they all thought it might be a phantom or some faerie's trick,
So that many of the noble knights were afraid to answer,
And all were struck by his voice and stayed stone still,
And there was a silence like death through the great hall.
Not a sound rose out of them, as though they had all fallen asleep.
Not I think, from fear only,
But some waiting for
Their King, out of courtesy,
To let him answer.