King Arthur’s Legend – by cecilia wangPosted: November 10, 2011
To tell a story, you must start from the very beginning, or in this case, where things start to get important. So, I’ll start with the generation before Arthur, his parents. Arthur’s dad, King Uther Pendragon, fancied one of his soldier’s wife, Igraine, so he got Merlin, who was his personal magician, to make him look like her husband, who was away on the battle field. When the king looked like Igraine’s husband, he lured her back to his castle, where she found out that her real husband was actually killed in battle. Eventually, Igraine married King Urther and together they lived happily ever after.
This is the bit where Arthur comes in.
Arthur was the King and new Queen’s first born child, so he would obviously be their heir to the throne, even though the queen had brought some of her own children with her. Merlin, being the great and powerful magician that he is, saw that a time of danger and conflict is ahead. But this could also be partly because King Urther was becoming very irresponsible in his leadership, and had gained many enemies that were plotting his demise. In simpler words, there were lots of powerful people trying to kill him! Merlin convinced the King to put baby Arthur under his own care, fearing for young Arthur’s safety. As an extra precaution, Merlin gave little Arthur to a man named Sir Ector, who himself had a son named Kay. And so, Arthur grew up and lived a happy childhood with his foster parents & brother in a secret place, under a false identity. That is, until King Urther died…without a known successor!
When a king dies without a successor, many nobles, knights and perhaps other kings will attempt to win the crown. Merlin thought of a clever idea and made a rock rise out of the land overnight. Set in the rock, was a shining sword. Written on it in gold, were the words, ‘Whoso pulleth out this sword of this stone is the rightwise born king of all England.’ Though many tried to pull, kick, push, wrench and any other ways of moving the sword from its place, all were unsuccessful. However, Arthur, who was a young squire at the time, unintentionally drew out the sword while seeking a replacement sword for his adopted brother, Kay, because Kay had misplaced his. That was when Arthur realised that he was the rightful king of Britain and began his reign.
As the new king, Arthur made his base at a place called Camelot and gathered knights there,who all met at the round table. He also began vanquishing their enemies e.g. the Roman emperor Lucius and the Saxons, who, since the Romans left Britain, were taking over. This gained him lots of reputation, admiration and respect from his people. Later, he met a beautiful girl, Guinevere (the olden version of Jennifer), whose father gave Arthur and his knights the round table, and made her his queen.
So far in the story, he’s the king, his kingdom’s safe, he got his knights and a beautiful queen. So, happily ever after, right? Not right. See, because one of Arthur’s knights, Lancelot, was having an affair with Guinevere! This caused the round table to break. Not in the physical sense but as in the big group of knights was now divided between their loyalty to their king or to the greatest knight, Lancelot.
Lancelot fled and thus, making Arthur chase after him. While Arthur was away, he left his half-brother (related through their mother), Morderd, in charge. Morderd, wanted the crown for himself, so when Arthur was away, he planned to turn the kingdom against their king.
When Arthur found out about this, he immediately returned to defend his crown and war broke out between the two sort-of brothers. Under Merlin’s advice, Arthur went in search for the lady of the lake to obtain the magical sword, Excalibur. Using the magical sword, Arthur killed his evil brother in the fight for the crown but was mortally wounded himself. It’s the common belief that he was carried off to the mysterious isle of Avalon and is looked after by the lady of the lake and three mysterious maidens. Many still believe that King Arthur and all his knights are sleeping under a hill in Avalon, waiting to ride out again to defend the world when we need him most.