Friday, December 17, 2010

Last Minute Controversy, I know

Oh how distasteful. This Monty Python film was lacking in humor and filled with crude content. Maybe I am much too olden and mile at heart to understand this sort of debauchary, but I haven't an idea as to why mocking the quest for the Grail is humorous. This quest was spiritual and enlightening and almost impossible to a mere mortal, yet here it is being satirized and followed by roaring laughter. I do no understand. My son holds too high honor to be discredited as foolish and powerless. Had he any true flaw, it would not be idly laughed upon. Kings are no laughing stocks, rather soveriegn rulers. I just do not understand. Some of the content can be humr when it makes a political statement, but if the humor IS political, what is really being said about my honorable Arthur?

My Farewell to the Round Table

To the knights of the Round Table:

I have heard that the Round Table is in great trouble. I am now currently questing with Niviane along with her knights. I sense that Arthur is preparing a fight against Mordred and his army. We expect to reach the battlefield in ten days. I will recover the Excalibur as soon as possible for Arthur's keeping. Mordred will be no match against this sword. I know a dwarf that can sharpen the blade to my liking. Not even the toughest dragon in the kingdom of Logres will be able to withstand the blade.

We're currently resting at a small house where there lies the most extravagant furnishings. Why you should see the the red cloth covering the tomb inside! The two lovers entombed inside had a splend time living here. This is indeed a beautiful place. Oh my, I'm getting rather drowsy. I need to rest. It must be late at night, for I see a full moon outside. Our company will depart at dawn tommorrow.

Your friend,

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Alone again...

Lrds. & Ldys.,

It's such a pity that we have to part ways again after such a brief time together. I cannot help but feel that this has happened before. At least this time there are far fewer bodies to dispose of, and I'm not compelled to visit Lancelot's mom again, or run off to a hermitage afterwards. Still, I long for the days when we sat around in Arthur's hall, putting the knife to the meat and the drink to the cup, even if we did have an occasional orphan turn up at the gate asking for help killing a giant.

Watching Monty Python was an appropriate way to end it though, I think. Especially since we cut the film off in the middle of a scene, which is the way it's meant to be done. Why leave them asking for more when you can simply leave them asking for closure?

To Arthur: Always know that I'm your right hand man. I'd be your left hand man too, but I'm not sure where I put it.

To Kay: I'd go questing with you any day, old friend.

To the rest of the court: Keep on fighting the good fight.

With that, I'll take my leave of you and head off into the wasteland...


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

What a strange place!

What in the name of all belonging to England!? Tiny iron gates protect the labyrinth containing the fragile boxes with glass lids on the covers. So many people and it took much time to find a place to dismount and tie my horse. I was in Fortune’s grace however because one of the castles surrounding the labyrinth made change for the parking meetres; Star-Deer or I think they call them “Bucks.” Stupid lady looked at me funny! Who heard of a spinning door! The city is a confusing place but inside the puzzle palace is where the real horror begins. What magic or trickery can turn Lions to stone? Is this some type of warning to those who are in the possessing the courage greater than I? Or do they have majick to also reanimate into flesh and attack intruders. Ah, but the red knight in those haunting wall drawing made it all worth the while. Such a story, but where’s my representation? Are the painters of the court afraid to take a drawing of me? They take drawings of people with wings!

Monty Python

The film was an incredibly witty spoof of our court at Camelot. Among the most memorable parts was the public's general disregard for King Arthur's authority. It was nice to see a comedic side to a sometimes too serious lifestyle. In addition to this, I was also surprised to see myself being defeated so quickly by a defenseless bunny. I was depicted as an impetuous knight, resembling more Sir Kay than myself. But, the rabbit was ferociously evil, and perhaps I would not have stood a chance to actually defeat it. The film adaptation was delightfully clever and entertaining.

The Abbey Paintings

The begining of my quest to view the Abbey paintings was of relative ease. I entered the large edifice and procured the renderings tirelessly. At first, I could not find them but was still mesmerized by all of the other ones the BPL had to offer. My eyes finally gazed across the hall and caught what to me appeared to be Sir Galahad achieving the grail. I eagerly made my way towards the painting when I was stopped by one of the guards. I politely asked to view the paintings, but was rejected. So I hid in the corridor and surreptitiously snuck in unwatched and unscathed. I was peasantly surprised with Abbey's representation of our quest to find the Holy Grail. My favorite one was Sir Galahad in a red tunic accepting the Grail, and Perceval and I kneeling in our full armor. The saints dressed in white in back of us was also a nice touch, though that was not the exact way that it occurred. Overall, it was quite the experience to witness such a wonderful interpretation of our quest to find the Holy Grail.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

In defense of Excalibur

Recently I have viewed John Boorman's most excellent film Excalibur and was overjoyed to see that it has stood the test of time as a fantasy epic that has a strong moral center. From the glittering beauty of Guinevere to the dark sensuousness of Morgana and the men that struggle in their webs, brave King Arthur and doomed Sir Lancelot, the power of the film lies in the way that the morality of our time is represented. In this film, all evil actions are brought home, even when committed by those with pure hearts. There is no black and white, villain or hero, all within the realm of Camelot are painted in shades of grey, as they were in life. Even the treachery of the lovers Lancelot and Guinevere is understood, as you see the punishment that they have brought upon themselves, as brave Lancelot becomes a gibbering tool of zealotry and Guinevere forswears all congress with men, shutting her heart away in a cold abbey. Even Arthur, grown from a bubbling boy to a noble king, admits his faults and goes to his death with a clear sense of how he came to this lamentable pass. I know that some of my fellow kinsmen laugh and look on this film as a old and campy mess, but watch it again with a open mind and heart, see the magic that lies in all men, look into the dragon and let it sear your soul as it paints a glorious picture of a time that we will neer see again.......

King of the Grail

The image that struck me to the heart was that of the vigil of brave Galahad, as his fellow knights equip him for the dangerous journey ahead. Clothed in the color of our Lord's brave martyrs, Galahad seems to exude a peace and calm acceptance of the perils ahead as the white clad nuns look on with pious purity and a wish to see him accomplish his task with all due reward. The light of the candles that they hold seem to become beacons of peace while his brothers in arms Sir Lancelot and Sir Bors attach his spurs and make him ready to face his fate, while the face of the brave man seems both calm and worshiping. The church and the colors are bold yet charmingly calm, allowing the viewer to experience the warmth and piety that is captured forever in oils and varnish.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Oh how beautiful! These paintings upon the walls of Abbey move me in many ways. Initially, I was touched by the grace and flow of the paintings. The story is told very clearly and emotionally. Though some are a bit brutal and physically unpleasant to serene eyes, the emotional story that is told is very satisfying to the soul. This quest for the grail is already very dear and emotional to me because it has such a heavy affect on my son. Being a woman of virtue, I take a great attachment to spirituality and this quest is one of the purest spiritual pilgrimages known. The very fact that my son Arthur, took so much of his time leading this quest holds it close to me. I also marveled at the haunting effect the paintings had. They were not only hauntingly beautiful, but rather haunting as in fearful. The images of Joseph of Arimathea and the spiritual figures dressed in red and white while partially cloaked were very chilling. I believe these were all so scary because the quest itself was as well. It was painful, tiresome and seemingly impossible. However, eventually, it was completed. Haunting pictures of a haunting journey.

Wonderuful works of art!

Ha ha!  Now this is my kind of tale!  Galahad and the Grail!  What a great image of his departure from the church.  Sirs Lancelot and Bors were wise men, and Galahad learned much from them throughout his time as a knight.

Galahad was always my favorite of all my fellow Knights.  Lancelot may have had his incredible strength and power on the battlefield, Gawain his bravery and courtesy, and Percival his prodigal talent, but none could match Galahad.  All but he, you see, were in some way susceptible to the ever-pervasive spectre of adulterous acts!
Galahad the Pure.  A true Grail Knight, wielder of the memory of its power and champion over the failures of all of us.  Galahad was powerful in arms and in speech, but it was the purity of his virgin soul that grants him the divine strength that all of his fellow knights, myself included, stupidly forfeited to our wives or lovers – if only we had known the magnitude of our mistake!

The quest for the Grail, while desperately long and so bleak so much of the time, is what truly tested out mettle as knights.  Galahad may be the best of us, but every knight had his own victories and experiences that must have caused a fundamental change in the knight – many of the men of the Round Table who survived the quest are not the same as I remember them.  

These images do bring back many memories of our days hunting after the Grail though.  I feel a deep sense of connection to all of these works, may God honor the man who made them.

Arthur's Aimless Search for the Grail

I fear Tim the Enchanter from the movie, Monty Python, was indoctrinated in necromancy. His violent bolts of fire wreaked havoc across a desolate terrain of Britain. When in search of the Holy Grail, Arthur and his knights confronted this wretched man. Arthur was led to believe that the Holy Grail lied in a cave. However, he and his knights were beguiled by the innocent appearance of a white rabbit, which is said to protect this relic. Some knights perished in the fight against this creature. Indeed, they were led astray by the false prophet.

My presence would have made no difference, for Arthur himself must learn to trust his heart. As King, Arthur seems to struggle to maintain cohesion among his knights. He is depicted as a gullible authority by listening to Tim. I’m afraid Arthur is blinded by his search for an unattainable thing. The Grail may very well be an aimless desire of man, which is pursued by ideological motive.

My Representation In Art

Though I am not a man to boast wildly about, I must say the artistic representations of my quest are quite extraordinary. My quest to achieve the Holy Grail was a trying one, I had to forsake all the pleasures of Earth to make sure that I was pure and able to achieve the Grail. Many times I over the course of my quest I had to face danger and also face the smiling face of success. One of these instances I remember most fondly.
It was of course the day that good King Arthur knighted me and accepted me into the Round Table. There is no greater honor in all of the land than to be in the company of the best knights in the world. I wore red and knelt before the magnificent King and was brought into the same majestic circle of fantastically talented men, such as my father Lancelot. Before the eyes of God I was bestowed the title that makes men quiver with fear and women quiver with passion. But alas I had no time for the quivering of women, even though I do deserve their quivering.
Though I may have suffered and was tortured by the arduous task of achieving the Grail, it was all worth it in the end, my name shall ring out through the ages, for I am Sir Galahad, Knight of the Round Table, Champion of the Holy Grail.

Abbey Paintings

Hello all. I was astounded by the size of the Boston Public Library upon entering! I wandered foolishly in search of these Abbey paintings for some time. But when I found them...oh my! It was like taking a journey back in time. What a tribute to Galahad! And what size to them! Much larger than I had expected.

I was particularly enthralled by one of the middle paintings. It was the one in which Galahad had encountered the three women. I believe them to have been trying to stop him from getting to the grail by distracting him with magic and what not. The older women, or the head "damsel" I would presume reminded me a lot of Morgan La Fay. She was on a horse wore a red cloak, and carried the kings head in her arms. And the other women reminded me of myself, though of course, it was not.

But Galahad, as we know was so truthful and pure of a man. He resisted all the temptation he had encountered--ultimately finding the grail in later paintings and becoming a king himself. I can give credit where it is due--well done Galahad!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Delineations of Galahad

The image of Galahad as represented by the paintings of Abbey is a true model for those who wish to achieve prosperity. By his virtues and constant struggle through life to achieve what is impossible, he succeeded where no one else could. His eventual success shows how remaining true to one's cause is the only way to obtain the rewards that it offers and to fulfill one's role is to carry the burden of the task, no matter how great, and not break the rules even when faced with the most difficult conditions. Though Galahad was endowed with the knowledge and will necessary to seek out the greatest relic of human existence, his path could have been impeded if he should falter in preserving his innocence. Without this quality, the grail would no longer be in his reach, as proved by Bors and Percival. In order to achieve his highest purpose, Galahad even sacrificed his love of Blanchefleur. Though he may have given up his purity, he at least retained his innocence. I was because of this utter commitment to his highest purpose, not as a hero but as a savior to the king and the land, that he was favoured by the Grail and left behind all earthly burdens once this purpose was fulfilled.

End of an Era (the Death of Arthur)

Can it be so? The end came all too soon. Now who will defend the land? Who will stand to uphold virtue and righteousness? Avalon has our King, and our Champions are no more! Could it be true, as it was said, that what once was will be again?

Woe! that I should live to see greatness laid low!
Now is the Horse without Rider, here is the Throne without King.
Here is the cup without celebrant, the Horn without Herald.
Empty stands the Hall, bereft now of Heroes,
Graced only by Ghosts and the Memory of Might.
Love's Lamentations are now answered by Emptiness
and the Obstinacy of Death.
The Flower of Chivalry has withered, its season passing inexorably
like winds into darkly remembered yesteryears.

The Specter of Uncertainty looms over all.

What is now? And what is to be?
In Memoriam,
Rex Quondam, Rexque Futurus

Abbey's Round Table

Aye, the old worn legs surely felt the sting as I trekked through the heart of the city which they call Boston and up the stairs to the second floor within the walls of this land’s majestic library, I encountered a room that was both void of furnishings, yet full of adornment in the form of a great knight of whom I’ve had the pleasure of having within my own court. I speak of the lair in which the great Edwin Austin Abbey has his wondrous murals of Sir Galahad’s “The Quest for the Holy Grail” displayed for the public to enjoy.

First and foremost, I was first taken aback by the sheer size of these pieces, which must have been close to ten feet in height and with endless length! The fifteen total images, telling us a tale in succession, surrounded the whole of the room with these colorful and awe-inspiring works. The deep, rich wood of the walls below the paintings and the dynamic lighting made the empty room seemingly fill up with the richness of the pictures above. One of the other things that stood out to me immediately was the way in which the Fisher King’s bed is prominently resting on top of a red and black marble doorway. Certainly a fitting spot of beauty unto which a King should perish should the Grail not be found!

My favorite panel of the collection was the third, in which my most noble Round Table is gathered and we sit and watch as Joseph of Arimathea escorts the pure Galahad to the Seat Perilous. There seems to be great concern written on the faces of those who fill the room. Many of my guests seem scared and apprehensive of someone attempting to sit in the Seat Perilous, but Galahad is up to the task and my standing to welcome him recognizes my confidence within this great knight.

Although Abbey does not depict the Round Table as may normally envision it, I can assure you that he goes to great lengths to bring about an air of truth in the passion of the room and the way unto which we would gather for monumental occasions. As the panels progress, we see just how truly worthy Sir Galahad is and to this effort we must praise the worthy painter of these scenes, as he has told us a dynamic story, in great detail, on canvas.

Arthur- I appreciate your attempt to avenge me.

In the great tale the Alliterative Morte Arthure, my noble death is told, and unfortunately my murder at the hands of a traitor is told. The truth of my valor is written of perfectly. It is true I charged an enemy and attacked full on. For I believed that no knight could match me, and my skill was superior to all others. I of course valiantly killed a powerful knight, only to be slain by a cowardly traitor from behind. It is only fitting a knight of my stature and fortitude his killed from behind at the hands of a traitor. If he had faced me man to man, his skill would have never matched mine. I obviously had to ride into the ranks to avenge my own death, since the traitor couldn't kill me swiftly. My wound was mortal, but with my dying breath I had to speak to my King, to once again show my loyalty to him. The King was do distressed by my death, for he knew he lost one of his most loyal and greatest men, that he was influenced to charge the enemy and slay many of them. I appreciate greatly the valor the great King Arthur showed in avenging my death. I believe that my death influenced him to be so great and powerful in battle. His sadness over losing me gave him great power on the battle field. In the end, my death gave more power to the legend of Arthur and his prowess on the battle field. So I thank you King Arthur, for I know you thank me.


I don't understand Galahad. He goes around in a red robe to show off his purity, chasing after a cup that no one else can see. I find it very odd that he would want to live this way. He might consider himself to be knightly because of what he has--and hasn't--done, but it doesn't seem to me that he's actually lived. Arthur, and other knights, all fight and battle and do what they must and what they want, trying to stay within the bounds of knighthood, but at least they're actions make them men. Although, in their minds, I'm sure they only consider themselves sinners.

Galahad is strange. I wouldn't let him fight on my side if he begged me to.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

hmm what the wear?

"Sir Galahad, robed in red (the color emblematic of purity)." Throughout each painting Sir Galahad is adorned with a red robe or cape, which is said in number III of the BPL outline of Edwin Austin Abbey's paintings to be symbolic of purity? I find that strange, because I would normally associate white with purity and red with sin, guilt, passion etc. This seems problematic for Galahad, for he is supposed to be the virgin knight destined to overcome sin and redeem the world by setting free virtues.
Also, in the boat with Galahad in number XII are three tree branches, one white, one green and one red. The white which is representative of the tree of life, the green branch for when Cain was begotten and red when Cain killed his brother Abel. I believe the red cape is not worn by Galahad because it symbolizes purity, but because it does represent sin, guilt and passion, which Galahad must overcome for 'the world.'

Guinevere's Musings

I find it fascinating that Edwin Austin Abbey only shows us Galahad's beautiful visage straight on in painting V. This the painting of the Castle of the Grail where the Fisher King lies as if dead. It was here that Galahad (or was it Percival?) was supposed to ask the question "Whom does the grail serve?" yet he did not. Does this essentially mean that we only see Galahad for who he really is once he has sinned? In all the other paintings, Galahad is shown in profile or even from behind, as in IX when he saved the maidens. Do we only see each other for who we truly are only when we have wronged?

Also, does any knight or lady know whose is the face looming behind Blanchefleur in painting X? Here, Galahad leaves her (poor girl) to finish his quest for the Grail. However, it looks as if he is leaving her to this dark figure and thus to her demise. How sad that neither Galahad nor Blanchefleur will ever partake in earthly joys for I believe that heaven can actually be found in them.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Galahad and the Divine Presence

Abbey's paintings certainly strike one with the impression that Galahad was indeed born ordained to fulfill the quest for the Holy Grail. Even as an infant, an Angel appears over him, bearing the Grail. What stood out as I viewed was the presence of Divinity. So often at least one angel appears where Galahad goes, often with Grail in hand. Even in Arthur's Hall, with the seats of the Round Table all taken (save one), did I not see what appeared to be an entire host of Angels in the air, encircling the court from above, as Galahad was led by the hand to the Seat Perilous?

As Galahad's quest and adventure unfold in each image, it appears he is led forth by an angel who is bearing the Holy Vessel. Is this encouragement, a goad to further efforts, such as Galahad's battle against the Seven Knights of Darkness and the sins they represent, and in the process liberating the Maidens representing Virtue? And then there is Galahad's healing of Amfortas, the ailing Fisher King; again the Grail is seen and then borne away once more. Is it the same Angel who guides Galahad in Solomon's ship to Sarras? Again the Grail is in sight, but out of reach until after Galahad is king, and casts off his Crown and regal adornments, which are no longer of any use or worth to Galahad, now having known the source of life and knowledge and power.

It seems obvious Galahad was meant to serve Righteousness along his path to the Grail, guided along much of the way in his endeavors by Angels. The impression is that God meant Galahad, right from birth, to serve the Lord's Purpose with might and steadfastness and virtue.

And apparently I, Sir Launfal, was not entirely worthy of even long beholding the illustrations of Galahad's glorious conquest, as I was escorted from the room by a keeper of the library after only a quarter of an hour (I was informed that the room was sealed off for a dinner function, and that I was not allowed in there).

The Siege Perilous looks Different...

I've had occasion to see some interesting murals in my time, for I do on occasion get out of my forest. This particular one, Galahad Being Led to the Seat Perilous, is rather different than I had envisioned. I always thought that the seat, or Siege Perilous, was that one extra seat at the round table. In this mural however, it looks like a veritable throne complete with awning, gold in-lay, and silk trappings.

I can't imagine that the figure in the hooded, cowled white robe could possibly be my favorite baddie Arthur. I think it is more likely Merlin, or some other such person. Galahad himself, adorned in robes of red (like the blood in the cup?) seems bashful and humble, as he should. The multitude of onlookers stretches around the entire mural, fading out somewhat in the background. Over the shoulder of the figure in white, I can see a sword hilt being raised aloft, possibly Excalibur, which would mean that Arthur is present, but relegated to the background. Hah! The obvious focus is the seat itself, and Galahad's arrival to claim it. I'll bet he didn't trick his way there (see what I did Arthur? Gawain?)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Re: Guinevere's Profile. Knight Seeking Queen

My dear, fair Queen:

Could it really be possible you love me half as much as I love you? After looking at your profile, it does, indeed, seem as if you are just as enamored. I must confess, I read and reread it countless times, trying to discern whether my eyes were deceiving me or not, and if I may be so bold as to say that I do believe they were not! Oh, my beloved, it warms my heart every time I see that you described me as your knight in shining armor. I will always be yours; my entire being was made with you in mind.

It says that your favorite books are anything written about me. My question to you is whether you prefer Chretien de Troyes or Malory's portrayal of myself. I shall strive to be which ever type of knight appeals to you most.

Yours forever and ever,

ps. Is Arthur around? Do you think we can possibly meet up later? My heart is near bursting at this discovery and I must see you.

The Cup is Mightier than The Sword

What, truly, is the Grail? What is its purpose? What function does it fulfill? Long has it been the endeavor of Arthur's best to seek it out. Many have met with death and madness. We have seen in many tales it's power and it's appearance. Sometimes a stone; sometimes a cup; sometimes a vision.

In Boorman's telling, the Grail appears quite suddenly, and eventually cures the ailing Arthur and brings nourishment back to the land and the people, even as Arthur rides out to meet doom in his battle against Mordred. By Tennyson's telling the Grail inspires a religious ecstasy and appears only to the most pure. It has a habit of taking knights out of court and out of their armor for the humble attire and life of the monk.
I was rebuked by a leper for my contempt of him, not seeing my scorn as unchivalrous and unbecoming of a knight, but especially of one seeking the divine blessing of the Grail.

Ultimately I recognized my failure and came to know the Grail, and this brought great joy to me and those who dwell with me in my hall and castle. But will this fulfillment reach beyond the few knights who know it and sustain the land? Who will keep the vigil for the safety of England? No Saxon will acknowledge the Grail, or even our Lord Christ. Who will stand against the tide of rivalry if our very best are busy fasting and meditating?

Nonetheless, the Grail stands as a great asset to our moral vitality. Though one may have to stand against the wicked, excellence of spirit, and charity, and virtue must not be abandoned. If the Grail has shown us nothing else it is this. He who grips the sword too tightly will surely be slain by it, and no armor is stout enough to withstand all the iniquities of this world.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Strife of Maidens

I feel a great likeness to the fair and lovely Lady of Shalott, not only for we have both "lovely faces," but the ever present feelings of hopeless and of entrapment. Dost all women feel this way though? For we live to simply to marry and bear children. The Lady of Shalott, however, is able to be unto herself to practice her weaving like that of Brigantia. But, can she not have her weaving, personal identity and love of a man? For when the Lady of Shalott utters, “I’m half sick of shadows,” when she sees two lovers wed, she seems to wish for love of a man as well as her weaving. So as soon as Lady Shalott hears the singing of Sir Lancelot, “Tirra lira,” she ventures out into the world where she later dies upon a swimming boat.

This curse that has befallen upon her seems to be a prevalent curse that all women share. I was taken from my lovely Ireland, forced to travel to foreign lands and marry a strange man, all for mere diplomatic purposes. It seems as though I were once entombed, when wedded to King Mark and then escaped to attain true love, with that of my dearest Tristan.

Friday, December 3, 2010

The Glory of the Holy Grail

It is quite wondrous that the story of Grail is told with such accuracy and commitment. My sacrifices aside, the Grail is victory not only for me, but for all of Arthur's court. The savageries suffered by King Arthur's knight were all for good reason, the Grail is paramount to all other quests. The noble knights of the Court, especially Sir Percival, quested tirelessly to achieve the Grail, of course only I was able to do so and in that accomplishment my end, but nevertheless it was all worth it to acheive what was most important in this world. More over my exploits have been documented and I am no friend of aimless boasting and pride is a sin, but it is true that I am the great knight that Arthur claimed me to be. I'm more than a man who quests for the Grail, I am a man who valiantly defeats his adversaries in a most glorious fashion and has womanly attention lavished upon me endlessly. I turn them away as I am bound for much greater things, but I still enjoy the lavishing that the fair and radiant maidens give me. I am much relieved that after such a long time, I have gained my just reverence for my actions.

Fool-hardy Knights!

Arthur hast finally gotten it right! Thou once goodly knights are hotheaded and impulsive to have sallied forth on this fool’s errand to find the Grail! None but Galahad saw the vision of the Grail and so none but Galahad wast worthy enough to pursue it. Thou shouldst have listened to thy king and shouldst not have gone. Now I wouldst have understood if thou wert off slaying evil men and beasts for the honor of fairest ladies, or if a certain lady of thine heart put it to thee as a clever test for her love then…by all means. But no! Thou went simply for thyselves and abandoned your King, Queen, and country!

Tennyson wast right when he wrote that I “rode by Lancelot, wailed and shrieked aloud, ‘This madness has come on us for our sins.'" And madness it wast for Lancelot lost his wits and Percival drankst the dirt and Sir Bors wast seized and bound. Each of thou errest save Galahad (though, if thou asketh me, for all of his talk of chastity, he wast getting a bit close with Percival's sister).

I wouldst also liketh to point out that since all of thee hast sinned, thou canst stop pestering me about my affair with Lancelot. As the good Lord teacheth: thee without sin cast the first stone.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Morgana in Excalibur

There has been a lot of backlash against my friend Morgana in Excalibur. It was interesting for me to see her in her youth, before she was made so old and hideous. I've learned a lot from her--about magic and what not. But lets not forget--she learned from Merlin. She chose to use her powers quite differently...but is she solely to blame? like to think my own actions weren't as vengeful as hers. She is conniving, yes. But she is also very skilled in her manipulations. Many died on their quest to find the grail. That was their own curiosity, was it not? Is magic/Morgana alone to blame? I think not.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Excalibur Tells the Truth!

This mystical vision I have observed shows Arthur and his knights as they truly are. Arthur, a silly farm boy afraid of the dark, receives the sword of kings, and has no idea what to do. He must seek counsel from his betters, as he always does, the cad! His inability to act on his own wish to retrieve the Grail is absolutely expected. He sends his knights out to do his own job! When will someone notice what a weakling he is? And to impregnate his own sister? Revolting, and demonstrative of his overpowering weakness. A true king would fight through sorcery to defend his own honor.

The vision shows me Gawain exactly as I have always described him. Finally, the truth is out. He is nought but a drunkard, a brute, an oaf, easily led and swayed by Morgana and Guinevere alike. They certainly have sovereignty over him, I can tell you. And this Merlin character... I have had little experience with him myself, but I believe that such a pillock as he is certainly responsible for many of Arthur's faults. He gesticulates like a madmen, falls over in rivers, speaks in strange ways, and generally behaves like a fool. There is no doubt in my mind that this vision of the roundtable is as accurate as any I have yet come across.

An End of Kings


I am writing today concerning the most unsatisfactory treatment given to our Liege and his associated Court by one Sir Thomas Malory.

My first point of contention is his portrayal of the King as weak willed. How easily manipulated by Mordred and company! He had our Liege lose half of his Round Table simply because Lancelot held so much sway over their hearts. According to Sir Malory, Arthur could not even prevent Gawain from running roughshod over much of Normandy chasing after Lancelot. I cannot abide all the weeping and swooning!

Secondly, is the King dead or isn't he? Mallory is terribly wishy-washy about the whole affair. He has 'yours truly' taking up a hermit's life, running errands for a dying Arthur here and there, all in great detail, but he can't seem to make up his mind whether the King actually snuffed it or not. Lucan and I dragged the King off the battlefield, the least Sir Malory can do is correctly identify his final resting place.

Finally, I have my own, personal grievances with Sir Malory. Apparently he has decided that my skill at negotiation and diplomacy is of such small consequence that a small serpent can undo what took me several weeks to construct. Mordred had planned on attacking under any circumstances, and the adder played no role in the entire affair. Also, he makes me out to be a liar, and possibly a thief! I certainly argued with Arthur on his death's bed, I advised him to not toss the sword into the lake, but once his mind was set to it, I carried out his wishes at once! Such is the office of the Cup Bearer, to be stalwart and trusted in all things. Sir Malory has aggrieved me greatly, especially considering the ruffian and na'er-do-well which he is himself.


P.S. - Lancelot, your mother asked me to tell you she misses you and wishes you would visit, or at least write, more often.

Unfortunate War

'Twas I who attempted to prevent Lancelot from falling into that trap that led to the separation of the Round Table. Yet, listen to me he would not, for his foolish heart was aching to see the Queen. What a malicious spell Guinevere hath cast upon Sir Lancelot. This sinful relationship that they have led for many years has now torn a part the powerful knighthood of Camelot. 'Tis true that I solemnly pledged support to mine king, but mine blood and mine heart will not allow me to abandon Sir Lancelot. After all, he is mine uncle and the greatest knight of all, and our familial ties are stronger than any former pledge that I hath made to King Arthur. He was a great king and he unfortunately married someone undeserving of that honor, which she demonstrates clearly by her infidelity. This war is a terrible one and I truly lament having to participate in it, but I must accept what has occurred and with the help of Jesu, assist our side in achieving victory.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Lancelot over Arthur any day!


I know that thou art angry at me and feel wholly betrayed by my love for Lancelot. I am sorry for it, but dost thou truly not see why it wast so easy for me to run into Lancelot’s arms? Thou seriously took me for granted thought that I wast easily replaceable. Thy walls have ears sweet husband and I know what thou hast said: “I am sorrier for my knights’ loss than for the loss of my fair queen; for queens I might have enow, but such a fellowship of good knights shall never be together in no company.” Thou hast always made it clear to me that thou dost prefer “bros before hos.” Since I wast not gettin' any lovin’ from thee, I had to go lookin’ for it elsewhere. If thee wants someone to blame, look in thy mirror.

Lancelot, on the other hand, hast always made me a priority. He hast rescued me numerous times and hast constantly been willing to die for me. Of course I’m going to pick the guy that wouldst die for me! Thou generally just shrugs thy shoulders when I get kidnapped. How about when the Pope told thee to take me back? Thou didst not even speak to me. Thou barely looked at me. How about my recent kidnapping by Mordred? Thou wast upset that he took over thy castle and kingdom but not me! I even brilliantly tricked him and fled to the Tower of London. Didst thou care?! Didst thee come to visit? Oh no. Thou art sad over Gawain and Lancelot but forget about thy Guinevere. I might as well go stick my head in the sand.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Hello, it is I again! Sir Valven!

Hello, and God’s graces, my fellow knights and ladies!  It is I, Valven!  I’m sure you are all wondering where I’ve been since the Saga of the Mantle.  Well I’ll have you know that just because nobody saw fit to include me in any of the many adventures that Arthur or his knights have been on since, but rest assured, I am still here!  And I think it’s about time I had something to say about all the things that have been happening in our land.
My friends, it is no secret that Lancelot has been taking the Queen to bed, and an affair of such magnitude is both deplorable in all ways, and a sign of the necessity of this message.  I must now tell you all of the great danger that besets any and all unfaithful knights and ladies:  the ravaging plague of syphilis.  

God watches us all, this we know, each and every one of us.  But all too often, the mind slips, and the power of the Lord is forgotten, and the body conspires to act against Him.  And to those who commit infidelity, the punishment from God is syphilis, from a queen to a pauper, none are above the Lord’s judgment.

Even now, as sure as I am of the sun in the sky, Lancelot and our once-noble Queen have been summarily set upon by the all-consuming disease.  Each and every adulterous knight and lady will be made an example of, for the better-making of the minds of the faithful and virtuous.  I can attest that in the months following the incident of the Mantle, that many of the former ladies of Camelot were taken by the disease - made examples by God.

And now I fear that Lancelot and Gweneviere will follow the same path.  It is a true shame, such a noble queen, and the strongest, most famous and capable knight in the land brought low by common lust but alas, none of us are without weakness.  I only wish that this horrible occurance had never been visited upon such a wonderful court, and such a noble knight.  So beware, my fellow men of the Round Table, for if you are unfaithful to your lady, then a death most unpleasant at the cruel methods of syphilis await you!

Sunday, November 21, 2010


I find this to be an interesting account of what happened. Lancelot was deceiving Arthur, who trusted him, and I offered my assistance. Lancelot continued to lie, spoiling the notion of knighthood. Arthur clearly made a mistake with Lancelot. I think that this is how we should always be portrayed: Arthur being the victim of his own choices, and I giving what aid I can.
Poor Guinevere, though. She seems to be trapped in all of this, in my opinion.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Round Table has fallen silent!

Since my fair friend Merlin did not appear to comment on the Alliterative Morte Arthure, I feel that it is only just that I report to you all in my old crony's absence.

For it is in this tale that the greatest injustices that the great people of Britain has ever suffered are written. It should truly have never have gotten to this point! We lost everyone who mattered to the overall good of the land and the sovereignty of our great nation.

I had become too hungry with power and by leaving my people behind to approach others whom I thought I should conquer, I left my own homeland open for invasion. And invaded it was, on the inside, by the one person whom I thought worthy enough to rule in my place!

Now Mordred, we both perished because of your insidious deeds! All of the great men that served me so nobly have also suffered the same fate. The blood of great men spilled across the English countryside and all because I was ignorant enough to trust in Mordred.

Of course this is where I went wrong. I should have taken him with me as he desired. I should have left a more trustworthy soul in his position! I was a fool, but forever shall I be known and aveneged. As the kin of Mordred are hunted, I shall be there to watch over those in pursuit as the prey is slaughtered and tossed into the wicked ocean!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Beware fair court...

...something very strange is afoot. For I recently had images of utter destruction whence I layeth down to slumber this past eve. A great, ghastly, ferocious bear had taken up battle with a magnificent, monstrous dragon. I tell you all that this dream was so vivid that I awoke in the purest of panics, having the utmost feeling that this dream was telling me something.

I shall stand to attempt to wipe these images from my mind for the time being as I have taken up with much more important tasks which require immediate consideration. For one thing, Lucius Iberius of the Romans has insisted that I, Arthur, King of the Britons, paya tribute to him as if we, the great, mighty and proud citizens of Britain, would be in line with their rule. PREPOSTEROUS I say, and I shall address this situation directly.

Another thing I have had to tend to is the slaying of a Giant at St. Michael's Mount. For this beast was one who had been spoken of as a hideous human who had devoured over 500 people and had recently taken hold of the Duchess of Britanny. I shall have no such thing, as a beautiful lady of nobility deserves a proper resque and the Giant deserves a proper death for his deeds.

Yet in the back of mind, I can't help but think that thyne dream was something of a forwarning of sorts. Could it be that it is a premonation? I shudder to think of what the dream symbolizes and how in this great world of Lord's that I play into this narrative. I shall hope that it was something or pure fantasy that in time shall be forgotten and placed with other repressed memories that shall remain buried with the dead.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

An afterthought...

I am loathsome of all of the court belonging to King Arthur, but what a splendid display of tongues no longer spoken by the men and the troublesome women of this world! Entertaining and educating the audience about the times and trials of Gawain and his hideous lover was fantastic! The recital was indeed fascinating and I was honored to sit in the presence of the company of so many great performers.