List of works based on Arthurian legends

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King Arthur at the Lyceum Theatre, London, 1895

The Matter of Britain stories, focusing on King Arthur, are one of the most popular literary subjects of all time, and have been adapted numerous times in every form of media.

Modern literature[edit]

Theatre[edit]

Opera[edit]

Film[edit]

References to Arthur in other films[edit]

  • Sam Raimi's Army of Darkness has time-travelling hero Ash meet a king called Arthur, in 14th century England.
  • Shrek the Third has a character named Arthur "Artie" Pendragon (voiced by Justin Timberlake), who is the next king of Far Far Away.
  • The Last Legion - a film about the last Roman Emperor Romulus Augustus who survives his fall from power and finds a new life in Britain. The movie links Romulus to the legends of King Arthur. In this movie, Arthur's father Uther Pendragon is brought up by a Roman general and a Malayalee woman (Aishwarya Rai)
  • The Mighty - A story about two children in whose exploits are influenced by the story of King Arthur.

Television[edit]

TV movies and miniseries[edit]

  • The 1998 television mini series Merlin showing a tale of Arthur and his knights.
  • Marion Zimmer Bradley's The Mists of Avalon was made into a miniseries by TNT in 2001.
  • BBC Series The Legend of King Arthur 1979 directed by Rodney Bennett Released BBC Video 1985 BBCV 9024

Special Presentations[edit]

The 2004 History Channel special Quest for King Arthur, hosted by Patrick Stewart, with an introduction by Ioan Gruffudd, highlights several historical figures who may have contributed to Arthurian legend. It was shown on the History Channel just prior to the release of the film King Arthur (2004), which featured Gruffudd as the character Lancelot and doing a voice-over introduction. The obvious tie-in was to assert the historical accuracy of the film.

Series[edit]

  • The 1950s British television series The Adventures of Sir Lancelot, based around the knight's exploits, featured Arthur and many other characters from the legends. This was the first British television series ever to be made in colour (although surviving episodes are in black and white) and one of the first to be aired by an American network.
  • The 1970s British television series, Arthur of the Britons, starring Oliver Tobias, sought to create a more "realistic" portrait of the period and to explain the origins of some of the myths about the Celtic leader.
  • The French series Kaamelott features a humorous take on the legend.
  • The 2008 BBC series Merlin is a reimagining of the legend in which the future King Arthur and Merlin are young contemporaries, however Arthur's father Uther Pendragon has banned magic in Camelot on pain of death. It showed the growth of King Arthur from a young, self-absorbed boy to the mighty king we all know as well as Merlin's colossal role in the creating the powerful Camelot. It was immensely popular and very well received by the public. It ran for five seasons and ended in December 2012, with a total of 65 episodes.
  • Camelot is a series on Starz that debuted April 1, 2011. It begins at the very earliest story, with twenty year-old, long lost son Arthur being crowned king after half-sister Morgan poisons their father King Uther. A more adult-oriented take on the Arthurian legends than the concurrent series Merlin, it was cancelled after one season.
  • The ABC series Once Upon a Time considers Camelot one of the show's realms. Lancelot has been seen on the series and King Arthur, Excalibur, Merlin, and Guinevere have all been referenced.

Animation[edit]

  • The late 1969 Australian animated cartoon series Arthur! and the Square Knights of the Round Table was a typically wacky take on Arthurian legend.
  • King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table (Entaku no Kishi Monogatari: Moero Arthur), a Japanese anime series produced by Toei Animation in 1979, followed by King Arthur: Prince on White Horse (Moero Arthur: Hakuba no Oji) in 1980
  • The animated series The Legend of Prince Valiant followed the adventures of three young warriors training to become Knights of the Round Table. Originally aired in the early 1990s, it featured Arthur, Merlin, Guinevere, and Gawain in its main cast and several other Arthurian characters in recurring roles.
  • The animated series King Arthur & the Knights of Justice premiering in 1992 featured an American Football team called the Knights led by quarterback Arthur King. When the "real" Knights of the Round Table are captured, Merlin magically transports the Knights football team to Camelot to defend the kingdom and rescue the captured knights. The show was cancelled in 1993.
  • The British animated cartoon series King Arthur's Disasters in 2005. Where Arthur is voiced by Rik Mayall.
  • In the Japanese anime adaption of the visual novel Fate/stay night, Arthur is portrayed as having been a woman (named Arturia) whose spirit is resurrected to serve a mage in the modern day with history recording her as a man for political correctness. She reprises this role in Fate/zero.

References in other series[edit]

  • The animated series Gargoyles featured several tales of Arthur (who was prematurely awakened in Avalon by Elisa Maza in a time of need) and the magic and inhabitants of Avalon. Arthur would later deputize a London Clan gargoyle, "Griff", as his knight and champion within the storyline. A proposed spin-off, named "Pendragon", for the character never materialized.
  • The 100th episode of the television show Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, Once Upon A Future King, featured a young Arthur sent back in time by Merlin to learn from Hercules.
  • Arthurian legend is central to the plot during the 9th and 10th seasons of the science-fiction series Stargate SG-1 (1997–2007). The idea was that, like other mythologies present in the show, the legends were influenced by the interference of powerful alien beings—in this case Merlin and Morgan le Fay—with the people of Earth. Other notable elements of Arthurian legend used in the show include Avalon (the place where Merlin showed Arthur how to ascend to a "higher plane of existence") and the Sangraal (Holy Grail), actually a powerful weapon created by Merlin, capable of destroying ascended beings. It was hidden by Morgan le Fay, who set up a series of tests to prevent the weapon from falling into the wrong hands.
  • King Arthur appears in the Babylon 5 Episode "A Late Delivery from Avalon." See Babylon 5 influences for more discussion on the King Arthur myths evident in Babylon 5.
  • In the seventh season of MacGyver, the two part episode "Good Knight MacGyver" has MacGyver apparently transported to the court of Camelot after a blow to the head.
  • In the sixth season of the supernatural drama Charmed, King Arthur is reincarnated in Wyatt Halliwell, Piper (a Charmed One) and Leo's (a powerful whitelighter) first-born, a twice-blessed child believed to be the future leader of the magical community, as prophesied by an apothecary from the 18th century.
  • The Doctor Who serial "Battlefield" is based on the Arthurian legends, featuring Mordred and Morgaine as warlords from another dimension, as well as the Seventh Doctor discovering that he will apparently become their version of Merlin in his future. The earlier serial The Stones of Blood indicated that Morgaine was based on an alien posing as a Celtic goddess. The later BBC Past Doctor Adventures novel Wolfsbane features the amnesic Eighth Doctor working with a young man from Arthur's era who has been awakened in 1936, having been imprisoned by a dryad after discovering the Holy Grail, to defeat a woman who believes herself to be the reincarnation of Morgaine le Fay, the story concluding with a briefly described trip made by the Fourth Doctor- unaware of the presence of his future self- to take the young man back to his own time.
  • Into the Labyrinth TV series, the last episode had an appearance by King Arthur.
  • The animated series Thundercats episode, Excalibur, featured the villain Mumra disguising himself as King Arthur in order to obtain the sword Excalibur to destroy the Sword of Omens.
  • The Pokémon episode "A Crowning Achievement!" is a subtle parody of King Arthur. In the episode, all the Slowpoke want to become Slowking, but only one, named Arthur, succeeds.
  • In the 27th episode of The Time Tunnel (1967), Merlin presses the time travelers into service to help preserve the life of young Arthur Pendragon so that he may become king in his future.
  • In an episode of the Nickelodeon television series Fairly Odd Parents, Timmy wishes himself back to the time of King Arthur and Excalibur.
  • The TV Anime Code Geass Features many mecha, battleships, locations, and people named after various characters from King Arthur's Story.
  • In the Anime / Manga Cardfight!! Vanguard two units from the Royal Paladin clan are possibly based on King Arthur; King of Knights, Alfred and Alfred Early respectively.

Comics[edit]

  • In 1937, a newspaper comic strip by Hal Foster, Prince Valiant was first published, with the byline "In the Days of King Arthur". Since the death of Foster in 1982, John Cullen Murphy has continued producing this comic strip.
  • DC Comics uses King Arthur's Camelot as a recurring piece of its fictional history, and there have been "several Arthurs," including a pagan general in Roman Britain, and a medieval Christian mystic. The various Arthurs were served by various versions of the character Shining Knight while The Demon, under the control of Merlin, defended Camelot during its final days.
  • The original version of the Marvel Comics character Black Knight was also at Arthur's court.
  • In Marvel Comic's New Excalibur series, King Arthur and his entire court is depicted when the team of mutants travels back in time to aid Black Knight during his years as a member of Arthur's Court. During the mission, Peter Wisdom advertently causes Guinevere and Lancelot into committing their affair behind Arthur's back.
  • Several comic book titles have explored the "Once and Future King" aspect of the legend by bringing Arthur and his knights back from the dead at the time of Britain's greatest need. Arthur and company re-emerge to battle an alien menace in AD 3000 in Camelot 3000.
  • The heroes of Knights of Pendragon likewise assemble in the spirit of Arthur's Round Table.
  • Simon Bisley's Treasure of Britain starring the character Sláine, features Arthurian characters and themes.
  • The comic book Dracula vs King Arthur from Silent Devil Productions takes Arthur as he begins his quest for the Grail and pits him against a time-crossing Dracula, who creates a vampire army to take on The Knights of the Round Table.
  • King Arthur makes several appearances throughout De Rode Ridder (The Red Knight), a Flemish comic book series.
  • The webcomic Arthur, King of Time and Space retells the legend in real time, in several settings.
  • The Caliber comics Legends of Camelot series began to cover stories from the Arthurian tradition.
  • The French comic book Arthur, by David Chauvel and Jérôme Lereculey, draws inspiration from early medieval Welsh legends, such as the Mabinogion.
  • In Hellboy, Hellboy is descended from King Arthur through his son, Mordred, by a daughter who was hidden away.
  • In 1984 Colleen Doran's A Distant Soil introduced Sir Galahad to her space opera series.

Games[edit]

Board games[edit]

Role-playing games[edit]

  • The role-playing game Pendragon details how to run adventure games set in the time of the Round Table. Its setting integrates Malory with post-Roman Britain, Celtic myth and English Folklore.
  • In Rifts from Palladium Books, the main story of Britain revolves around the future equivalent of King Arthur and his knights. It should be noted that this is not the original King Arthur awoken from Avalon and he has many different characteristics and strengths, not the least of which is his new blade, Calibur-X, a vibrating gun blade with magical properties.
  • The King Arthur Supplement for the GURPS role-playing game gives three different Arthurian settings, a historical setting based upon post-Roman Britain, a legendary setting based upon Malory, and a cinematic setting based upon modern stories.

Video games[edit]

Music[edit]

Anthem of Cornwall[edit]

  • Bro Goth Agan Tasow ("Dear Land of Our Fathers"), the official anthem of Cornwall, includes the words: "Kingdom of King Arthur, ancient saints and the Grail/No other land is more beloved."

See also[edit]