As civilization progressed out of the dark ages, a myriad of legends fell by the wayside. Who knows what heroes and adventures remain shrouded in the ancient past. However, one legend continues to grow in prominence and stature. The King Arthur Legend remains a captivating tale of heroism and sacrifice. Over time the King Arthur Legend expanded beyond the rather humble origin tale. Now Arthur’s court contains numerous knights and ladies with tales and myths of their own. Historians struggle to confirm whether Arthur actually existed. If he did exist, he probably bears little resemblance to the man in the legends. Whether Arthur lived or not is inconsequential in the long term. After all, legends and myths exist to inspire successive generations with tales of heroism in the face of villainy. Or to serve as an object lesson about the evils of selfishness, vanity, greed, lust, and a myriad of other character shortcomings.
King Arthur remains my favorite legend. Whenever I have a chance, I prowl through the library and amazon searching for new spins on the Arthurian legend. While I have devoured many such series, my favorite retelling remains Stephen Lawhead’s Pendragon Cycle. No other series, in my opinion, manages to capture the spirit of the legend and seamlessly weave in Celtic and Gaelic overtones. Also, the Pendragon Cycle perfectly captures the enigmatic character of Merlin. Few other series paint Merlin in such a vivid and captivating profile. I will write a full review of the series at a later time.
While I love reading about Arthur, sometimes I crave diversity. A couple years ago I stumbled upon an independent folk artist named Heather Dale. Heather is a Canadian Celtic performer and writes her own music. All of her music draws inspiration from mythology, folklore, and Celtic history. She has released two albums inspired by the Arthur Legend: The Trial of Lancelot and May Queen. Her songs ensnare the listener and breathe life into the legend in a way books cannot replicate. I highly recommend both albums. My favorite song is Mordred’s Lullaby. The song captures the perspective of Morgan le Fey or Morgause depending which version of the legend you believe.
I am still disappointed that Hollywood had not created a decent Arthur movie. Despite Hollywood’s beliefs, Arthur is a Celtic king and not a Roman centurion.