King Arthur in various media

King Arthur in various media

The Matter of Britain stories, focussing on King Arthur, are one of the most popular literary subjects of all time, and have been adapted numerous times in every form of media.

Modern literature

* Attanasio, A. A.: "The Dragon and the Unicorn", "The Eagle and the Sword", and "The Wolf and the Crown".
* Benz, Derek and J. S. Lewis: "The Revenge of the Shadow King" reveals an alternate history of Arthur who was betrayed and murdered by his half-sister Morgan le Fay, who is portrayed as an evil immortal being known as the Black Witch, for possession of a sacred book which had been passed down father-to-son for thousands of years. In this case, Arthur was betrayed when he refused to pass the book on to his illegitimate son. The book was passed to Arthur's true son, and from Arthur's son came the Knights Templar.
* Marion Zimmer Bradley: "The Mists of Avalon" is the classic of modern reinterpretations of the Arthurian legend through the points of view of powerful women behind Camelot, namely Morgaine, Gwenhwyfar, and Morgause.
* Gillian Bradshaw: The "Down the Long Wind" trilogy "Hawk of May", "Kingdom of Summer" and "In Winter's Shadow" looks at the King Arthur legend through the eyes of a classical scholar.
* James Herbert Brennan: "GrailQuest" gamebooks centre on the kingdom of King Arthur.
* Bryher set her historical novel "Ruan" in Britain immediately after Arthur's death.
* Mark Chadbourn: "The Age of Misrule", "The Dark Age" and "Kingdom of the Serpent" trilogies take a modern twist of Arthurian legend and Celtic mythology, using them as a basis for a dark series of novels set in modern Britain, in which the Celtic gods return to take back the land.
* Christian, Catherine, "The Pendragon" tells the story from a 5th century Sir Bedivere.
* Susan Cooper: five volume saga, "The Dark is Rising".
* Bernard Cornwell: "The Warlord Chronicles" consist of three novels, "Winter King", "Enemy of God", and "Excalibur", and reintroduce many old characters into the tale. Told by Derfel after Arthur's death they are very realistic in nature even though they do have Merlin and Lancelot and magic. "There is a sword and there is a stone, but one is not in the other", is Cornwell's own summary. These three books are Bernard Cornwell's personal favorites of all his own works.
* Kevin Crossley-Holland: "The Seeing-Stone", "At the Crossing-Places" and "King of the Middle-March.".
* Peter David's "Knight" trilogy depicts Arthur reappearing in the modern-day world. In the first novel, "Knight Life" (David's first novel), Arthur emerges from his thousand-year convalescence (that followed the wound he sustained from Mordred) to run for mayor of New York City. In "Knight Life", he faces another epic hero for possession of the Holy Grail. In "Fall of Knight", the villain encounters is a person from actual history, who possesses the Spear of Destiny, and wants to use it to destroy the Earth.
* David Drake: "Dragon Lord", a somewhat unconventional story involving a "King Arthur" who is more great military general than quasi-enchanted king, which takes place shortly after the fall of the Roman Empire and long before the Age of Chivalry.
* Janice Elliot: "The King Awakes" a post-apocalyptic science fiction novel for young teens. Arthur awakens and maintains a presence as a sub-plot, leading to a fantastic finale complete with re-born Knights of the Round Table. An interesting re-interpretation of Celtic myth in a post-nuclear war milieu.
* Gidlow, Christopher: "The Reign of Arthur: From History to Legend"
* Godwin, Parke: "Firelord" and "Beloved Exile"
* The several books by Norma Lorre Goodrich are very popular, but are based on a poorly received analysis of Arthurian legend and medieval history. She asserts he was a borderlands king whose activity centred around the Roman walls and wall forts. This is so at odds with entrenched beliefs that she is dismissed by many scholars despite some well founded conclusions.
* Helen Hollick: "Pendragon's Banner" trilogy.
*Phyllis Ann Karr: "Idylls of the Queen".
* Guy Gavriel Kay: "The Fionavar Tapestry" is the continuation of the Camelot story in the framework of a wider epic.
*Stephen King: "" reveals that the hero of King's spaghetti-western/fantasy/sci-fi magnum opus adventure series, Roland, is one of only two of King Arthur's surviving descendants.
* James Knowles, "The Legends of King Arthur and his Knights"
* Sidney Lanier: "The Boy's King Arthur" is a work based on Thomas Malory's "Le Morte d'Arthur, written in such a way to appeal to the boys of the 19th century.
* Stephen R. Lawhead: "The Pendragon Cycle", a more thorough examination of the myths, especially concerning Taliesin, Merlin, Arthur, Pendragon, and the Grail.
* C.S. Lewis makes reference to Arthur and aspects of Arthurian legend, albeit with his own twist, in the final installment of his Space Trilogy, "That Hideous Strength".
* Andrew Massie: "Arthur The King", a darker version of the classic tale.
* John Masefield cycle of poetry concerning the Arthurian legend.
* Rosalind Miles "Guenevere Trilogy" is a fictional trilogy that follows Guenevere and King Arthur through their reign as High King and Queen.
* Tim Powers' "The Drawing of the Dark" depicts an eternal King Arthur reincarnated to participate in the Siege of Vienna.
* Howard Pyle, "King Arthur and His Knights of The Round Table"
* Nacy Springer: "I am Mordred" and "I am Morgan le Fay" are two young adult novels about the two often misunderstood characters of Camelot.
* John Steinbeck: "The Acts of King Arthur and His Noble Knights" is a traditional take in modern language. Steinbeck also compared the adventures of the "paisanos" in his early novel "Tortilla Flat" to the exploits of Arthur's knights.
* Mary Stewart Merlin books: "The Crystal Cave" sets up the background for the Arthurian legend. "The Hollow Hills" encompasses most of Arthur's lifespan, including his childhood with Merlin as his tutor. "The Last Enchantment" deals with Merlin's later life, against the continued background of Arthur's rule. A later book, "The Wicked Day", was written from the point of view of Mordred in the latter period of Arthur's rule, and provides an interesting counterpoint to the original three novels.
* Alfred Tennyson: "Idylls of the King"
* Mark Twain: "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court"
* Jacob Wenzel: "Le Morte d'Arthur, an Epic Limerick " is a retelling of Malory in limerick verse
* T.H. White: "The Once and Future King" cycle
* Jack Whyte: "The Camulod Chronicles", a series of books containing more historical fiction than fantasy beginning with Roman Britain and leading through Arthur's reign.
* Persia Woolley: "Child of the Northern Spring", Queen of the Summer Stars", and "Guinevere: The Legend in Autumn".
* Heiser, Fred, [ "Things Fall Apart..."] tells a variation of the story set in a post nuclear war southern California.
* Nancy McKenzie: "Queen of Camelot" where Guinevere gives a first-hand account of her life, and "Grail Prince", set directly after Arthur's death at Camlann.


* John Arden and Margaretta D'Arcy: "The Island of the Mighty" (1972)
*Laurence Binyon: "King Arthur" (1923), with music by Edward Elgar
*D. G. Bridson: "King Arthur" (1937), with music by Benjamin Britten
*J. C. Carr: "King Arthur" (1895), with music by Arthur Sullivan
*"Camelot" (1960), by Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe. It is based on the King Arthur legend as adapted from the T.H. White novel "The Once and Future King". The main thrust of the novel and the musical play is the affair between Arthur's wife, Guenevere, and his great friend, Sir Lancelot. "Camelot" was filmed in 1967. Created by the team responsible for "My Fair Lady", Moss Hart, Alan Jay Lerner, and Frederick Loewe, it starred Richard Burton as Arthur, Julie Andrews as Guinevere, and introduced Robert Goulet as Lancelot. The original cast album of the show was a particular favorite of then-President John F. Kennedy, and the "Camelot" metaphor has been often associated with his presidency.
*"Merlin" was a Broadway musical in 1983 featuring illusionist Doug Henning and music by Elmer Bernstein.
*"Spamalot", adapted from the film "Monty Python and the Holy Grail". It won the 2004–2005 Tony Award for Best Musical. Arthur was played by Tim Curry in the original production.


*Isaac Albéniz "Merlin" (1897-1902), intended to be the first of a trilogy, libretto by Francis Money-Coutts, 5th Baron Latymer
*Harrison Birtwhistle "Gawain" (1991), libretto by David Harsent
*Rutland Boughton: "The Birth of Arthur" (1909), libretto by Reginald Buckley
*Ernest Chausson: "Le Roi Arthus" (1903)
*Hubert Parry: "Guinevere" (1886)
*Henry Purcell: "King Arthur" (1691), libretto by John Dryden
*Richard Wagner: "Tristan und Isolde" (1865), composer's libretto
*Richard Wagner: "Parsifal" (1882), composer's libretto


* "Monty Python and the Holy Grail", a comedic parody of the traditional King Arthur legend. It was later adapted into a successful Broadway musical called "Spamalot". Arthur was played by Graham Chapman in the film.
* "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court" (1949), a musical film adaptation of Twain's novel, with Bing Crosby as the time-traveling Yankee and Cedric Hardwicke as Arthur.
* "Knights of the Round Table" (1953), based on "Le Morte d'Arthur" by Thomas Malory, with Robert Taylor as Lancelot, Ava Gardner as Guinevere, and Mel Ferrer in the role of Arthur.
*"Sword of Lancelot" a.k.a. "Lancelot and Guinevere" (1963), a film directed by Cornel Wilde and starring Mr. Wilde as Lancelot, Jean Wallace as Guinevere, and Brian Aherne as Arthur.
* "Camelot", a 1967 film adaptation of the successful 1960 Broadway musical of the same name. It starred Richard Harris as Arthur, Vanessa Redgrave as Guenevere, and Franco Nero as Lancelot.
* "The Sword in the Stone", a 1963 Disney animated film about Arthur's childhood, loosely adapted from T.H. White's take on the legend.
* John Boorman's 1981 film "Excalibur", based largely on Malory and probably the highest rated serious Arthurian film. It features Nicol Williamson as Merlin and Helen Mirren as Morgan Le Fay.
* "First Knight", a movie based on the abduction of Guinevere by the knight Malagant. It featured Sean Connery as Arthur, Richard Gere as Lancelot, and Julia Ormond as Guinevere.
* "King Arthur", a motion picture released on July 7, 2004, claiming (despite being heavily criticised for its historical inaccuracies) to be more historically accurate about the legend of Arthur as a 5th century, British-born, Roman commander, with respect to new archaeological findings; similar in story line to Jack Whyte's books.
* Sam Raimi's "Army of Darkness" has time-travelling hero Ash meet a king called Arthur, in 14th century England.
* "Shrek the Third" has a character named Arthur "Artie" Pendragon (voiced by Justin Timberlake), who is the next king of Far Far Away.
* "Quest for Camelot" features King Arthur ruling over a besieged Camelot.
*"The Last Legion" - a film about the last Roman Emperor Romulus Augustus who survives his fall from power and finds a new life in Britain. The movie links Romulus to the legends of King Arthur. In this movie, Arthur's father Uther Pendragon is brought up by a Roman general and a Malayalee woman (Aishwarya Rai)
*"The Mighty" - A story about two children in whose exploits are influenced by the story of King Arthur.


TV movies and miniseries

* The television movie "Merlin" showing a tale of Arthur and his knights.
* Marion Zimmer Bradley's "The Mists of Avalon" was made into a miniseries by TNT in 2001.


*The 1950s British television series "The Adventures of Sir Lancelot", based around the knight's exploits, featured Arthur and many other characters from the legends. This was the first British television series ever to be made in colour.
*The 1970s British television series, "Arthur of the Britons", starring Oliver Tobias, sought to create a more "realistic" portrait of the period and to explain the origins of some of the myths about the Celtic leader.
*The French series "Kaamelott" features a humorous take on the legend.
*The 2008 BBC series "Merlin" is a reimagining of the legend in which the future King Arthur and Merlin are young contemporaries.


* The late 1960s Australian animated cartoon series "Arthur! and the Square Knights of the Round Table" was a typically wacky take on Arthurian legend.
* "King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table (Entaku no Kishi Monogatari: Moero Arthur)", a Japanese anime series produced by Toei Animation in 1979, followed by " (Moero Arthur: Hakuba no Oji)" in 1980
* The animated series "The Legend of Prince Valiant" followed the adventures of three young warriors training to become Knights of the Round Table. Originally aired in the early 1990s, it featured Arthur, Merlin, Guinevere, and Gawain in its main cast and several other Arthurian characters in recurring roles.
* The animated series "King Arthur and the Knights of Justice" premiering in 1992 featured an American Football team called the Knights led by quarterback Arthur King. When the "real" Knights of the Round Table are captured, Merlin magically transports the Knights football team to Camelot to defend the kingdom and rescue the captured knights. The show was cancelled in 1993.
* The British animated cartoon series "King Arthur's Disasters" in 2005.

References in other series

*The animated series "Gargoyles" featured several tales of Arthur (who was prematurely awakened in a time of need) and the magic and fairies of Avalon. A proposed spin-off, named "Pendragon", for the character never materialized.
*The 100th episode of the television show "", "Once Upon A Future King", featured a young Arthur sent back in time by Merlin to learn from Hercules.
*In season nine of the science-fiction television series "Stargate SG-1", Arthur and Arthurian legend, particularly Merlin, are intrinsic to the plot of the season; specifically, Merlin is an Ancient who may have taught Arthur how to Ascend at Glastonbury Tor and hid the wealth of the Knights in an elaborate, puzzle-laden chamber. They also identify Arthur with Ambrosius Aurelianus, with Daniel Jackson commenting that he would have been 74 years old at the Battle of Mount Badon.
*King Arthur appears in the "Babylon 5" Episode "A Late Delivery from Avalon." Babylon 5 influences contains more discussion on the King Arthur myths evident in Babylon 5.
* In the seventh season of MacGyver, the two part episode "Good Knight MacGyver" has MacGyver apparently transported to the court of Camelot after a blow to the head.
* In the sixth season of the supernatural drama "Charmed", King Arthur is reincarnated in Wyatt Halliwell, Piper (a Charmed One) and Leo's (a powerful whitelighter) first-born, a twice-blessed child believed to be the future leader of the magical community, as prophesied by an apothecary from the 1700s.
* The "Doctor Who" serial "Battlefield" is based on the Arthurian legends, featuring Mordred and Morgaine, as well as the Doctor as Merlin. The earlier serial "The Stones of Blood" indicated that Morgaine was based on an alien posing as a Celtic goddess.
*Into the Labyrinth TV series, the last episode had an appearance by King Arthur.
*King Arthur appears in the anime 'Fate/stay night'. In this incarnation, Arthur is portrayed as having been a woman (named Arturia) with history recording her as a man for political correctness.
*The animated series "Thundercats" episode, " Excalibur", featured the villain Mumra disguising himself as King Arthur in order to obtain the sword Excalibur to destroy the Sword of Omens.
*In the "Pokémon" episode "A Crowning Achievement!", the episode is a subtle parody of King Arthur. In the episode, all the Slowpoke want to become Slowking, but only one named Arthur succeeds.
*In the 27th episode of "The Time Tunnel" (1967), Merlin presses the time travelers into service to help preserve the life of young Arthur Pendragon so that he may become king in his future.
*In the Nickelodeon television series the "Fairly Odd Parents", Timmy wishes himself back to the time of King Arthur and Excalibur.
*The TV Anime "Code Geass" Features many mecha, battleships, locations, and people named after various characters from King Arthur's Story.


* In 1937, a newspaper comic strip by Hal Foster, "Prince Valiant" was first published, with the byline "In the Days of King Arthur". Since the death of Foster in 1982, John Cullen Murphy has continued producing this comic strip.
*DC Comics uses Arthur's Camelot as a recurring piece of its fictional history, and there have been "several Arthurs," including a pagan general in Roman Britain, and a medieval Christian mystic. The various Arthurs were served by various versions of the character Shining Knight while The Demon, under the control of Merlin, defended Camelot during its final days.
* The original version of the Marvel Comics character Black Knight was also at Arthur's court.
* In Marvel Comic's New Excalibur series, King Arthur and his entire court is depicted when the team of mutants travels back in time to aid Black Knight during his years as a member of Arthur's Court. During the mission, Peter Wisdom advertently causes Guinevere and Lancelot into committing their affair behind Aurthur's back.
* Several comic book titles have explored the "Once and Future King" aspect of the legend by bringing Arthur and his knights back from the dead at the time of Britain's greatest need. Arthur and company re-emerge to battle an alien menace in AD 3000 in "Camelot 3000".
*The heroes of "Knights of Pendragon" likewise assemble in the spirit of Arthur's Round Table.
*Simon Bisley's "Treasure of Britain" starring the character Sláine, features Arthurian characters and themes.
* The comic book "Dracula vs King Arthur" from Silent Devil Productions takes Arthur as he begins his quest for the Grail and pits him against a time-crossing Dracula, who creates a vampire army to take on The Knights of the Round Table.
* King Arthur makes several appearances throughout "De Rode Ridder" ("The Red Knight"), a Flemish comic book series.
* The webcomic "Arthur, King of Time and Space" retells the legend in real time, in several settings.
* The Caliber comics "Legends of Camelot" series began to cover stories from the Arthurian tradition.
* The French comic book "Arthur", by David Chauvel and Jérôme Lereculey, draws inspiration from early medieval Welsh legends, such as the "Mabinogion".


Board games

*The board game Shadows over Camelot features King Arthur as one of the main playable characters in the game.
*In the science fiction board game Warhammer 40k, the Emperor of Mankind drew many similar inspiration from Arthurian legends while the treacherous Warmaster Horus and Horus Heresy is similar to Mordred.
*The Bretonnia army from Warhammer Fantasy Battles frtures many elements from Arthurian Legends. This Includes: Knights make up the bulk of the army, Grail Knights, The Green Knight (special character), and The Fay Enchantress.

Role-playing games

*The role-playing game "Pendragon" details how to run adventure games set in the time of the Round Table.
*In the role-playing game Rifts The main story of Britan revolves around the future equivalent of King Arthur and his knights, it should be taken to note that this is not the original King Arthur awoken from Avalon and he has many different characteristics and strengths, not the least of which is his new blade, Calibur-X a vibrating gun blade with magical proporties.

Video games

* "King Arthur" by Krome Studios is based on the 2004 film of the same name.
* "King Arthur & the Knights of Justice" by Enix is based on the cartoon series of the same name.
* "Stronghold Legends" by Firefly Studios campaign includes King Arthur's legend
* "Conquests of Camelot" by Sierra Entertainment centers around the quest for the Holy Grail.
* "Knights Of The Round" by Capcom is a light-hearted take on the Arthurian legend in a sword fighting beat-em-up similar to the video game Final Fight.
*"Tomb Raider Legend" by Crystal Dynamics revolves around the King Arthur legend resembling those of other cultures around the world; pieces of artifacts are forms of Excalibur.
* "" is highly influenced by the Arthurian legend
* In the video game "RuneScape", King Arthur and several Knights of the Round Table are featured along with the castle of Camelot, and it is the starting place of two quests.
* "Final Fantasy VII" the final and greatest summon materia is "Knights of the Round" which has 12 knights striking an enemy with the last knight obviously being King Arthur through his extended entrance and grander appearance.
* The visual novel/eroge and anime "Fate/stay night" features a young female knight called Saber whose true name is Arturia. She became King by pulling free the sword from the stone. Knowing that armies wouldn't follow a woman, she renamed herself King Arthur and used Merlin's magic to hide her gender.
* The MMORPG RuneScape, King Arthur is a quest-giver for Holy Grail and Merlin's Crystal.
* The MMORPG Dark Age of Camelot takes place after King Arthur's death.
* Namco's "Soul" series features Arthur as a samurai. He wields a katana named Gassan.
* An upcoming Wii game, "Sonic and the Black Knight", features the main protagonist, Sonic the Hedgehog saving the city Camelot from King Arthur after he becomes corrupt and calls himself the Black Knight. The game will feature the combination of Sonic's running speed and a new sword fighting system in combat.


* The concept album "The Myths and Legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table" (1975) by Rick Wakeman tells a version of the legend.
* The 2004 expanded edition of heavy metal singer Bruce Dickinson's 6th solo album " The Chemical Wedding" features a song called "Return of the King," which heavily references Arthurian elements including Uther Pendragon.
* The American power-metal band Kamelot has many songs with Arthurian elements in their discography.
* In 2003 hard rock musician Gary Hughes put out two albums, "Once and Future King Part I" and "Once and Future King Part II", based on the legend.
* The German metal band Grave Digger (band) released a concept album about the story of King Arthur called Excalibur (album)
* Australian post modern retro band Revolver (Band) have a song titled "Cross in the Sky/ Wastelands" written by James Montgomery on their 2006 album "In Absinthia". The song is about the Arthurian legend and the desolation that occurs in the country after Arthur's death.

Anthem of Cornwall

* "Bro Goth Agan Tasow" ("Dear Land of Our Fathers"), the official anthem of Cornwall, includes the words: "Kingdom of King Arthur, ancient saints and the Grail/No other land is more beloved."

ee also

* [ "Rodney Parrish's Arthurian Comics List",] Rodney Parrish.
* [ "Camelot In Four Colors: A Survey of the Arthurian Legend in Comics",] Alan Stewart.
* [ "Camelot 3000 and Beyond: An Annotated Listing of Arthurian Comic Books",] Michael Torregrossa, United States c. 1980-1998 (Revised Edition, May 2000), part of "The Arthuriana/Camelot Project Bibliographies".

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