List of works based on Arthurian legends

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King Arthur at the Lyceum Theatre, London, 1895

The Matter of Britain stories, focusing 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

Theatre

Opera

Film

Adaptations

Relatively straightforward adaptations of the legends, reconstructed history, or modern Arthurian material.

Modernization

Productions whose plot "updates" or otherwise moves the legend to modern times.

Films based on the Tristan legend

Film based on Connecticut Yankee

Films based on Mark Twain's novel A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, about a modern man/woman who travels in time to Arthur's period.

Television

TV movies and miniseries

Special presentations

The 2004 History Channel special Quest for King Arthur, hosted by Patrick Stewart, with an introduction by Ioan Gruffudd, highlights several historical figures who may have contributed to Arthurian legend. It was shown on the History Channel just prior to the release of the film King Arthur (2004), which featured Gruffudd as the character Lancelot and doing a voice-over introduction. The obvious tie-in was to assert the historical accuracy of the film.

Series

  • The 1950s British television series The Adventures of Sir Lancelot (1956–57), recounting 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 (although surviving episodes are in black and white) and one of the first to be aired by an American network.
  • The 1970s British television series, Arthur of the Britons (1972–1973), 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 Legend of King Arthur (BBC TV series, 1979)
  • Mr. Merlin (1981–82)
  • Doctor Who Battlefield (1988–1989)
  • Merlin (1998)
  • The Mists of Avalon (2001)
  • The French series Kaamelott (2005–2009) features a humorous take on the legend.
  • Merlin's Apprentice (2006)
  • The BBC series Merlin is a re-imagining of the legend in which the future King Arthur and Merlin are young contemporaries in Uther's kingdom. Arthur quickly transitions from a spoiled young prince into a beloved king, while Merlin perfects his magic arts in secret. Inspired by Smallville (which was a similar show featuring Superman characters) and the subject of critical acclaim, Merlin ran for five series from 2008 to 2012.
  • Het huis Anubis en de vijf van het magische zwaard (Dutch Nickelodeon series, 2010–2011)
  • Camelot is a series on Starz that debuted April 1, 2011. It begins at the very earliest story, with twenty-year-old, long lost son Arthur being crowned king after half-sister Morgan poisons their father King Uther. A more adult-oriented take on the Arthurian legends than the concurrent series Merlin, it was cancelled after one season because of many scheduling conflicts of the cast and showrunners.
  • Merlin: the Disenchanted Enchanter (French, directed by Stéphane Kappes TV Mini-Series, 2012)
  • The ABC series Once Upon a Time features many aspects from the Arthurian legends. Camelot is mentioned several times as a region within the Enchanted Forest. Also, Lancelot appears in the second and fifth seasons. In the fifth season, the heroes seek out the sorcerer Merlin to battle the darkness that currently plagues hero-turned-villain Emma Swan. In the third episode of the season, King Arthur (portrayed once again by Liam Garrigan) is revealed to be a villain. As the season progresses, his villainous acts are discovered by the heroes, including his killing of Merida's father, but he is eventually defeated and imprisoned. Towards the end of the season, he is killed by the god of the Underworld, Hades, and is sent to the Underworld. It is there he encounters a deceased Killian Jones, and they work together to help the heroes in the living realm defeat Hades. With the underworld in disarray, Arthur realizes a prophecy he heard that he would repair a broken kingdom wasn't talking about Camelot, but the Underworld. He then bids Killian farewell, and hopes to redeem himself by helping the souls of the deceased.
  • The Canadian TV show Guinevere Jones features a reincarnation of Guinevere who is helped by the spirit of Merlin to learn magic and fight against Morgana.
  • The first season of the American television show The Librarians is centered on the efforts of an elderly Lancelot (using his last name, Dulaque, as an alias) to restore Camelot, which he considers to be a golden age of humanity. He manages to release magic back into the world using Excalibur in the second episode, ("And The Sword In the Stone"), and eventually uses a collection of artifacts gathered by the Librarians to access the Loom of Fate, which he tampers with to restore his youth and restart history at the beginning of Camelot. However, Galahad (who has assumed the identity of the Library's caretaker, Jenkins), returns and distracts him long enough for the Librarians to undo the damage, causing Lancelot to disappear.
  • The upcoming TV series Pendragon features the disgraced detective Jude Pendragon as he covertly goes through cold case files and finds one that takes him into another realm of reality, one from which he may, or may not, escape as he entered.

Animation/Anime

  • The late 1969 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 King Arthur: Prince on White Horse (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 & 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.
  • Starting within its "Avalon World Tour" story arc, a few episodes of Disney's Gargoyles devoted themselves partly to Arthur Pendragon, after NYPD detective Elisa Maza awakens the King from his "eternal slumber" within Avalon's "hollow hill" sanctuary. Arthur goes on to recover his sword Excalibur while visiting New York (and directly confronting Macbeth while recovering it), and while in New York, knights the London Clan gargoyle Griff to become his traveling companion from Griff's assistance to the king in recovering Excalibur, as Arthur begins a quest to find Merlin.
  • The British animated cartoon series King Arthur's Disasters in 2005. Where Arthur is voiced by Rik Mayall.
  • In the Japanese anime adaptation of the visual novel Fate/stay night, Arthur is portrayed as having been a woman (named Arturia) whose spirit is resurrected to serve a mage in the modern day with history recording her as a man for political correctness. She reprises this role in the adaptation's prequel Fate/Zero, which also features a version of Lancelot. Arturia also appears in the film Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works, and a recreated anime series based on the latter, as well as a number of spinoffs based on the franchise. In addition, the OVA Fate/Prototype (based on an earlier draft of Fate/Stay Night's story) features a male version of King Arthur, known in the expanded universe as "Prototype Saber".
  • Arthur serves as the main antagonist in the Japanese anime Nobunaga the Fool. The anime is a sci-fi telling of famed ancient heroes from the west, such as Arthur, Caeser, and Alexander, going to war against famed ancient heroes from the east, such as Nobunaga, Mitsuhide, and Kenshin over control over two planets, both of which represent Europe and Japan.
  • The Japanese anime Highschool DxD contains several elements from Arthurian legend such as the Welsh Dragon, the White dragon and the sword Excalibur.
  • Divine Gate
  • The Japanese anime Code Geass featured The Knights of the Round, a unit of twelve elite knights in the Holy Empire of Britannia, each being assigned into the group by royalty and under direct command of the Emperor. Each knights pilot a Knightmare Frame,a humanoid shaped war machine. Their Knightmare Frame were named after the Arthurian Knights such as Lancelot, Gawain, and Tristan. The capital city of the Holy Britannian Empire, Pendragon also named after King Arthur's father's surname.
  • In Season 2 Episode 15 of Sword Art Online, the main cast is given a quest to save an ancient race of elves from which the main characters races branch from. The reward for the quest is the item known as Excalibur, a legendary sword from Arthurian lore.
  • The Seven Deadly Sins contains a few parts of arthurian legend; such as one of the strongest characters being called King Arthur and his dominion being called Camelot, even though King Arthur's origin castle is the Tintagel Castle.
  • The episode Minnade Daietto! (English: Eh! History Changed!?) of the Japanese anime series Mischievous Twins: The Tales of St. Clare's deals with the abduction of Queen Guinevere by Sir Maleagant and about how she is set free by Sir Lancelot.

Animation

Comics

  • 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 King 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 Arthur'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.
  • King Arthur makes several appearances throughout De Rode Ridder (The Red Knight), a Flemish comic book series.
  • The French comic book Arthur, by David Chauvel and Jérôme Lereculey, draws inspiration from early medieval Welsh legends, such as the Mabinogion.
  • In Hellboy, Hellboy is descended from King Arthur through his son, Mordred, by a daughter who was hidden away.
  • In 1984 Colleen Doran's A Distant Soil introduced Sir Galahad to her space opera series.
  • Merlin, from Robin Wood and Enrique Alcatena

Advertising

King Arthur is the namesake of a brand of flour, King Arthur Flour.

Games

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 miniature 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.
  • In the fantasy miniature game Warhammer Fantasy Battle, the background of Bretonnia is strongly based on Arthurian legends, including the Grail and the Lady of the Lake.
  • King Arthur alongside many of his knights appear under stylized names in the card game Yugioh in the "Knight of the Round Table" set. Merlin, the Lady of the Lake and Avalon are also referenced.

Role-playing games

  • The role-playing game Pendragon details how to run adventure games set in the time of the Round Table. Its setting integrates Malory with post-Roman Britain, Celtic myth and English Folklore.
  • In Rifts from Palladium Books, the main story of Britain revolves around the future equivalent of King Arthur and his knights. It should be noted 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 properties.
  • The King Arthur Supplement for the GURPS role-playing game gives three different Arthurian settings, a historical setting based upon post-Roman Britain, a legendary setting based upon Malory, and a cinematic setting based upon modern stories.
  • The storygame Arthur's Legacy (Rise of Avalon) presents a world where Avalon rises from the sea triggering a Rebirth of magic and mystical creatures, as well the return of immortal nobility including King Arthur, his bastard son Mordred, and the witch Anna Morgause. Participants portray reincarnated knights, who embody ideals and wield the ability to perform miracles.

Video games

  • 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.
  • Tomb Raider: Underworld by Crystal Dynamics revolves around Lara trying to find Avalon to find her mother.
  • In Final Fantasy VII, the final and most powerful 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.
  • Fate/stay night, a visual novel/eroge and anime, 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.
    • Fate/Zero, a prequel, features not only the above King Arthur/Saber, but also Lancelot as a Black Knight under the class Berserker.
    • The spinoff game Fate/extra features Gawain as an enemy-exclusive Saber-class character.
    • The light-novel series Fate/Apocrypha - a parallel world spinoff based on a cancelled MMO concept - features Mordred as a Saber-class for one of the two factions, who, like King Arthur/Saber, is gender-swapped, detailed in the story as being a homunculus half-clone of King Arthur that was created from mixing the King's genes with those of Morgan le Fay.
    • All of these characters would later appear in the mobile game Fate/Grand Order alongside a version of Galahad.
  • RuneScape a MMORPG , King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table are portrayed as having settled in the game's fictional world while awaiting Britain's 'time of greatest need'.
  • Dark Age of Camelot' a MMORPG' takes place after King Arthur's death.
  • Soul series by Namco features Arthur as a samurai. He wields a katana named Gassan.
  • Sonic and the Black Knight on Wii features the main protagonist, Sonic the Hedgehog saving the city Camelot from King Arthur after he becomes corrupt and calls himself the Black Knight. After defeating the Black Knight/King Arthur, Merlin's granddaughter Merlina reveals to Sonic & the Knight of the Roundtable that the King Arthur they knew was a fake created by her grandfather. In the end, Sonic was revealed to be King Arthur himself, as Caliburn (actually Excalibur) said he was the one who decides who is worthy of the crown.
  • Sir Lancelot is used as character in a 1984 platform / arcade game for the Sinclair ZX Spectrum.
  • Fire Emblem: Fūin no Tsurugi a tactical JRPG contains many characters whose names allude to the King Arthur legend. Although there is no Arthur, characters include: Guinevere, Igraine, Gorlois, Lance, Percival, Uther, Lot, Bors, Merlinus, Niime and Nacien. The game's prequel, Fire Emblem: Rekka no Ken, introduces Ninian, but on the whole this game draws more from medieval French mythology than British and Arthurian.
  • Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War a 2006, Namco game is heavily based on the Arthurian legend, with allusions to Excalibur, Avalon, etc.
  • The Order: 1886
  • King of Avalon: Dragon Warfare (Mobile game)
  • Wizard101: Morganthe's Arc, Avalon story line (Arc 2 World 3) (video game)

Music

Anthem of Cornwall

Humour

See also

References

  1. ^ Faudeux, Stephan, ed. (3 November 2016). "La Légende du Roi Arthur revit dans un décor virtuel griffé D/Labs et AMD". Sonovision. Retrieved 5 April 2017.
  2. ^ "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (1921)". IMDb. Retrieved 7 April 2018.
  3. ^ "A Connecticut Yankee (1931)". IMDb. Retrieved 7 April 2018.
  4. ^ "A Connecticut Yankee (1955)". IMDb. Retrieved 7 April 2018.
  5. ^ "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (1970)". IMDb. Retrieved 7 April 2018.
  6. ^ "New Adventures of a Yankee in King Arthur's Court (1988)". IMDb. Retrieved 7 April 2018.
  7. ^ "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (1989)". IMDb. Retrieved 7 April 2018.
  8. ^ "A Young Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (1995)". IMDb. Retrieved 7 April 2018.

External links

  • Rodney Parish'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 Published in the United States c. 1980-1998 (Revised Edition, May 2000), Michael Torregrossa, part of The Arthuriana/Camelot Project Bibliographies.
  • Arthurian Film by Kevin J. Harty
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