Monday, May 7, 2012

Monday Interview Series: King Arthur

Today, we're taking a journey through the mists of Avalon to talk to a giant of myth, literature, and history--none other than King Arthur himself. We met with Arthur in his court at Camelot. Will he let us sit at the Round Table? We shall see...

Greg:  So, this is the wondrous Camelot, is it?

Arthur:  Yes, magnificent, is it not? It is the wonder of all Britain. Travelers come from far and wide just to gaze upon its beauty.

Greg:  Well, I can certainly see why. This hall is huge. There are magnificent tapestries hanging on the wall, a roaring fire, a table laid for a feast, and of course, the legendary Round Table.

Arthur:  Ah, yes, humility prevents me from boasting, but I must admit that it is all rather splendid. Of course, all this has been hard-won. It did not just fall into my lap. Britain was a mess. The cursed Saxons had the run of the place.

Greg:  Oh yes, that's right. You and Merlin united the whole country and rose up against the Saxons. Your success ushered in a Golden Age. That's how it went, right?

Arthur:  Well, yes, if you believe everything you read. To be brutally frank, Merlin did not have much to do with it. He wasn't as big a deal as he's made out to be. His magic was not really that spectacular. We once had a visitor from the far off land of Conn Ect Icut who could blot out the sun. Merlin could not perform such wondrous works.

No, it was due to myself and Excalibur, my magic sword, to which most of the praise and honor is due. After all, it was I who won the heart of Guinevere, the comeliest maid throughout the whole of Britain. Merlin could not get so much as a date.

Greg:  I see. There are some who say your origins are rooted in history, while others say you're completely legendary. What do you have to say about that?

Arthur:  Why sir, do I not stand before you in the flesh? Could a legend do that? Could a legend unite the whole of Britain, establishing an age of chivalry? I think not. No, I am very real.

Greg:  Well you are standing here. That reminds me. Merlin set up the whole idea of the Knights of the Round Table, right? What was it like to witness such a historical moment?

Arthur:  Witness? Witness! I was the architect of that most glorious institution. Merlin, bah! He wanted the table to be an octagon! It was I who said it should be round so that all men seated at it would be equal. 

Chivalry was my idea, as well. What could be a more noble pursuit than rescuing fair maidens and questing in a glorious cause. It pulled my knights together and made them the pride of the world. Merlin was always trying to claim credit for the entire thing. He was all show, no substance.

Greg:  That's an interesting take. I'd never heard that version of the story before. Is there anything else that we should know?

Arthur:  Yes, now that you mention it. The whole Lancelot thing is overblown. He didn't even start getting mentioned until the 12th Century. Talk about coming late to the party and taking the cake. And all that going off in search of the Holy Grail, well. It's enough to make me scream. If I wasn't such a level headed, magnanimous monarch, I'd have to take steps. 

Greg:  I think it's time we were taking steps--right back to the 21st century. Thank you so much for your time and the interesting information. It certainly puts the Arthurian Legend in a whole new light.

Arthur:  It was my pleasure. I'll have to be going, Morgan Le Fey and her son Mordred are stopping by to speak with me. I wonder what they want. Between you and me, they give me the creeps.

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