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Questions tagged [arthurian]

For questions relating to the Celtic British mythology of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.

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What specific shapes does Merlin (or myrddin) assume in the various arthurian legends/stories?

Although many summaries mention that Merlin's shapeshifting was a prominent part of several arthurian stories or myths, the only specific mention of which shapes he assumes is that of a bird (in ...
user2754's user avatar
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11 votes
1 answer
1k views

Did Bedwyr (Bedivere) ever have dark magic?

A while back I found a small note (which seems to have been removed because of a lack of proper citation) on the Wikipedia article for Bedivere, speaking of his “role in Welsh tradition” and first ...
MorgenAfallon's user avatar
5 votes
3 answers
2k views

What are some alternate names for characters of Arthurian legend?

I'm working on a Homebrew D&D campaign and have always thought the legends of King Arthur and the knights of the round table were cool. I planned on basing one of my kingdoms on them but didn't ...
Ryan Sincleair's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
156 views

Omitted Books from Le Morte d'Arthur

I'm trying to find a difference between two Le Morte d'Arthur editions. The first was printed in 1886, prepared by Ernest Rhys, with introduction by himself. Single volume. Malory's history of King ...
john c. j.'s user avatar
9 votes
1 answer
417 views

Arthurian legend English and French sources

Is it true, that most of early Arthurian books were written outside Britain, mostly in France? Why? As a proof, here is quote from William Caxton's preface to Le Morte d'Arthur, published in 1485: ...
john c. j.'s user avatar
12 votes
2 answers
238 views

Prose Tristan: versions vs parts

As stated in many scholarly books, there are two "versions" of Prose Tristan: short version (attributed to Luce de Gat) and long version (attributed to Helie de Boron). But I cannot understand why ...
john c. j.'s user avatar
9 votes
2 answers
233 views

Did the Green Knight fight Gawain against his will?

At the end of Gawain and the Green Knight (Weston's translation) says to Gawain "Bernlak de Hautdesert am I called in this land. Morgain le Fay dwelleth in mine house, and through knowledge of ...
HDE 226868's user avatar
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11 votes
1 answer
195 views

In Vita Merlini, what did Merlin attribute his power of prophecy to?

In Vita Merlini, Merlin goes quite mad for a while, speaking of Britain in the past and remarking on nature and religion. He makes grand prophecies of what will happen in the future - he is, after all,...
HDE 226868's user avatar
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14 votes
1 answer
1k views

How long did King Arthur's empire last?

In Geoffrey of Monmouth's Vita Merlini, Merlin discussed past (and future) British history. He goes on at great length about the time of Arthur, describing some of his later exploits after defeating &...
HDE 226868's user avatar
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18 votes
1 answer
2k views

Who was Arthur's sword, Excalibur, returned to?

Most versions of the Arthurian legend relates that, after the Battle of Camlann, a dying King Arthur ordered a surviving knight - usually Sir Griflet or Sir Bedivere - to dispose of Excalibur in a ...
Semaphore's user avatar
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14 votes
1 answer
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Where did Morgana le Fay come from?

Where did Morgana le Fay come from? From where did she get her power? As the primary antagonist of many Arthurian legends, it always seems to me that she's just there because she's always been there, ...
durron597's user avatar
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13 votes
1 answer
199 views

According to the Vulgate Cycle, can the Holy Grail ever re-appear in Britain?

As written on timelessmyths.com's page on the Vulgate Cycle, The Quest of the Holy Grail introduced the new Grail hero: Galahad, the son of Lancelot and Elaine, daughter of King Pelles. Galahad with ...
HDE 226868's user avatar
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22 votes
1 answer
528 views

Is there any relationship between the Ladies of the Lake?

This is the offshoot I mentioned of this question. According to this, In a few tales, a maiden or a fay had trapped Merlin in an enchantment. The most famous was the Lady of the Lake. Again, there ...
HDE 226868's user avatar
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23 votes
1 answer
22k views

How old was Merlin when he died?

There are many different accounts of the life of Merlin, one of the noted magical figures in the tales of King Arthur. Some accounts do not cover the end of his life, while others state that he died ...
HDE 226868's user avatar
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20 votes
1 answer
330 views

Do Arthurian scholars or other original Arthurian legends agree with Geoffrey of Monmouth's depiction of King Arthur's death?

One of the most popular accounts of the life of King Arthur is that of Geoffrey of Monmouth, who writes that Arthur was killed by his nephew, Mordred. Geoffrey's account is by no means canonical, as ...
HDE 226868's user avatar
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27 votes
2 answers
1k views

What species is the Lady of the Lake?

In Arthurian legend, the Lady of the Lake is usually depicted as a beautiful woman. However, she is clearly not human (as she seems to spend most of her time hanging out underwater). One might think ...
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16 votes
1 answer
3k views

What is the meaning of the half burning tree in the Mabinogion?

In the story Peredur the Son of Evrawc (part of the Mabinogion), Peredur encounters: And he saw a tall tree by the side of the river, one half of which was in flames from the root to the top, and ...
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41 votes
9 answers
99k views

Are Excalibur and Caliburn different swords?

Arthurian legend features swords called "Excalibur" and "Caliburn". It is not clear to me whether these two swords are the same entity (at minimum, the names are clearly cognate), or whether they ...
senshin's user avatar
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