List of works based on Arthurian legends
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. This list enumerates some of the notable works.
- Adam Ardrey, Finding Merlin (2007)
- Mihir Dhawan, Knighthood: Order of Chivalry (2021)
- A. A. Attanasio: The Dragon and the Unicorn (1994), The Eagle and the Sword (1997), The Wolf and the Crown (1998), and The Serpent and the Grail (1999)
- T. A. Barron: The Merlin Saga, about the life of Merlin (1996-2011).
- Donald Barthelme: "The King" (1990), in which Arthurian characters fight in WWII and the atomic bomb has characteristics of the Holy Grail.
- Derek Benz and J. S. Lewis: The Revenge of the Shadow King (2006) reveals an alternate history of Arthur who was betrayed and murdered by his half-sister Morgan le Fay, who is portrayed as an evil immortal being known as the Black Witch, for possession of a sacred book which had been passed down father-to-son for thousands of years. In this case, Arthur was betrayed when he refused to pass the book on to his illegitimate son. The book was passed to Arthur's true son, and from Arthur's son came the Knights Templar.
- Thomas Berger: Arthur Rex (1978) is a tragicomic retelling of the Arthurian legend.
- Marion Zimmer Bradley: The Mists of Avalon (1983) is the classic of modern reinterpretations of the Arthurian legend through the points of view of powerful women behind Camelot, namely Morgaine, Gwenhwyfar, and Morgause.
- Gillian Bradshaw: The Down the Long Wind trilogy Hawk of May (1980), Kingdom of Summer (1982), and In Winter's Shadow (also 1982) looks at the King Arthur legend through the eyes of a classical scholar.
- James Herbert Brennan: The GrailQuest (1984–87) gamebooks center on the kingdom of King Arthur.
- Bryher set her historical novel Ruan (1960) in Britain immediately after Arthur's death.
- Meg Cabot: Avalon High (2005), a novel in which high school students find themselves to be reincarnations of characters from the Arthurian cycle.
- Mark Chadbourn: The Age of Misrule, The Dark Age and Kingdom of the Serpent trilogies (2000–09) take a modern twist of Arthurian legend and Celtic mythology, using them as a basis for a dark series of novels set in modern Britain, in which the Celtic gods return to take back the land.
- Molly Cochran and Warren Murphy: The Forever King (1992) is a trilogy of books set in modern-day about a boy who is King Arthur reincarnated and his protector Hal, a former police officer who is the reincarnation of Galahad.
- Douglas Clegg: Mordred, Bastard Son (2006) centers on a sympathetic Mordred, who enters into a romance with Lancelot.
- Susan Cooper: five volume saga, The Dark is Rising (1965–77)
- Bernard Cornwell: The Warlord Chronicles (1995–97) consist of three novels, Winter King, Enemy of God, and Excalibur, and reintroduce many old characters into the tale.
- Kevin Crossley-Holland: The Seeing Stone (2000), At the Crossing-Places (2001), and King of the Middle-March (2003).
- Peter David's Knight trilogy depicts Arthur reappearing in the modern-day world. In the first novel, Knight Life (1987), Arthur emerges from his thousand-year convalescence that followed the wound he sustained from Mordred to run for mayor of New York City. In One Knight Only (2003), he faces another epic hero for possession of the Holy Grail. In Fall of Knight (2006), the villain Arthur encounters is a person from actual history, who possesses the Spear of Destiny, and wants to use it to destroy the Earth.
- Bryan Davis: Dragons in Our Midst series (2004–05) & its sequels, Oracles Of Fire (2006–09), and Children of the Bard (2011-15)
- David Drake: The Dragon Lord (1979), a somewhat unconventional story involving a "King Arthur" who is more great military general than quasi-enchanted king; it takes place shortly after the fall of the Roman Empire and long before the Age of Chivalry.
- Robert W. Fuller: The Rowan Tree (2013), a political novel that casts the Arthurian legend in a modern historical setting.
- David Gemmell: Ghost King (1988), Last Sword of Power (1988), The entire series deals with the Stones of Power, also known as the Sipstrassi. The first two books contain a re-imaging of the Arthurian legend.
- Parke Godwin: Firelord (1980), Beloved Exile (1984), and The Last Rainbow (1985)
- Roger Lancelyn Green: King Arthur and His Knights of the Round Table (1953)
- Robert Holdstock: The Merlin Codex (2001–07), a trilogy of mythic fiction novels which trace Merlin's adventures in Europe before the time of King Arthur, placing him alongside Jason and the Argonauts and Urtha Pendragon.
- Helen Hollick: Pendragon's Banner trilogy (1994–97)
- Kazuo Ishiguro: The Buried Giant (2015), set in Britain after Arthur's death.
- Phyllis Ann Karr: The Idylls of the Queen (1982)
- Guy Gavriel Kay: The Fionavar Tapestry (1984–86) is the continuation of the Camelot story in the framework of a wider epic.
- Stephen King: The Dark Tower VI: Song of Susannah (2004) reveals that the hero of King's spaghetti-western/fantasy/sci-fi magnum opus adventure series, Roland, is one of only two of King Arthur's surviving descendants. The version of Arthur in Roland's world is known as Arthur Eld, and was the founder of the order of Gunslingers, knightly warriors who wield revolver pistols in the name of justice; Eld's own guns were reportedly forged from the metal of Excalibur itself.
- J. Robert King: Mad Merlin (2000), Lancelot Du Lethe (2001), and Le Morte D'Avalon (2003), A retelling of the Arthurian legend from the perspectives of Merlin and Lancelot rather than on the usual Arthur, King weaves his tale by combining bits of folklore and mythology with both sheer invention and historical fact. Merlin is actually the god Jupiter.
- James Knowles, The Legends of King Arthur and his Knights (1860)
- Giles Kristian, Lancelot (2018), a historical re-imagining of the Arthur myths, told from the perspective of Lancelot. A sequel, Camelot (2020), has been recently published.
- Sidney Lanier: The Boy's King Arthur (1880) is a work based on Thomas Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur, written in such a way to appeal to the boys of the 19th century.
- Stephen R. Lawhead: The Pendragon Cycle (1987-1999), a more thorough examination of the myths, especially concerning Taliesin, Merlin, Arthur, Pendragon, and the Grail.
- C.S. Lewis makes reference to Arthur and aspects of Arthurian legend, albeit with his own twist, in the final installment of his Space Trilogy, That Hideous Strength (1945).
- Bernard Malamud: The Natural (1952), a modern reinterpretation of the Fisher King story, centered around a baseball team known as the New York Knights. Also a 1984 film.
- John Masefield's cycle of poetry concerning the Arthurian legend. (Edwardian-Post WWII)
- Nancy McKenzie: Queen of Camelot (2002), where Guinevere gives a first-hand account of her life, Grail Prince (2003), set directly after Arthur's death at Camlann, and Prince of Dreams (2004)
- Rosalind Miles: Guenevere Trilogy is a fictional trilogy that follows Guenevere and King Arthur through their reign as High King and Queen.
- Richard Monaco: Parsifal, A Knight's Tale is the first of a series set in Arthur's court. Just about all the characters are unsympathetic, and Arthur is a ruthless, brutal killer.
- Michael Morpurgo: Arthur, High King of Britain (1994)
- Gerald Morris: The Squire's Tale Collection
- Garth Nix: Contained in Nix's collection Across the Wall are two stories that present a different take on the Arthurian legends: "Under the Lake", a short story that portrays the Lady of the Lake as a parasitic, monstrous creature, and "Heart's Desire", which tells of Merlin and his apprentice Nimue, and the ultimately doomed relationship between them.
- Robert Nye: Merlin, which gives a paganistic view of Merlin's intrigues to make Arthur king.
- Tim Powers: The Drawing of the Dark depicts an eternal King Arthur reincarnated to participate in the Siege of Vienna.
- John Cowper Powys: Porius (A Romance of the Dark Ages) (1951).
- Howard Pyle: King Arthur and His Knights of The Round Table (1903)
- In Mary Reed and Eric Mayer's historical mystery One for Sorrow the protagonist John, the Lord Chamberlain meets with a Knight of the Round Table who comes to Constantinople in search of the Holy Grail.
- Philip Reeve: Here Lies Arthur tells of a more tyrannical Arthur in the time of the Dark Ages.
- Lisa Ann Sandell: Song of the Sparrow, a retelling of the story of Elaine of Ascolat, the Lady of Shalott.
- Jack Spicer: The Holy Grail, a series of poems spoken by various Arthurian characters (1962).
- Nancy Springer: I am Mordred and I am Morgan le Fay are two young adult novels about the two often misunderstood characters of Camelot.
- John Steinbeck: The Acts of King Arthur and His Noble Knights is a traditional take in modern language. Steinbeck also compared the adventures of the paisanos in his early novel Tortilla Flat to the exploits of Arthur's knights.
- Mary Stewart's Merlin books: The Crystal Cave sets up the background for the Arthurian legend. The Hollow Hills encompasses most of Arthur's lifespan, including his childhood with Merlin as his tutor. The Last Enchantment deals with Merlin's later life, against the continued background of Arthur's rule. A later book, The Wicked Day, was written from the point of view of Mordred in the latter period of Arthur's rule, and provides an interesting counterpoint to the original three novels.
- Rosemary Sutcliff: The Lantern Bearers (1959), Sword at Sunset (1963), Tristan and Iseult (1971); The King Arthur Trilogy (2007), an omnibus edition of Sutclff's Arthurian Trilogy: The Light Beyond the Forest (1979), The Sword and the Circle (1981), and The Road to Camlann (1981); The Shining Company (1990), a retelling of the Y Gododdin, which contains the earliest mention of Arthur's name. In Taliesin's Successors: Interviews with authors of modern Arthurian literature, The Camelot Project at the University of Rochester (August 1986), Raymond H. Thompson described these seven works by Sutcliff as "some of the finest contemporary recreations of the Arthurian story".
- Alfred, Lord Tennyson: Idylls of the King
- Lavie Tidhar: By Force Alone (2020)
- J.R.R. Tolkien: "The Fall of Arthur" an unfinished poem, posthumously published in 2013.
- Nikolai Tolstoy:The Coming of the King - part one of an unfinished trilogy, dealing with Merlin and various Arthurian characters.
- Mark Twain: A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
- Jack Vance: The Lyonesse Trilogy, set before Arthur's time on the Elder Isles, a fictional archipelago inspired by the tales of Lyonesse, Ys, and other lost lands associated with Arthurian legend.
- T. H. White: The Once and Future King cycle
- Jack Whyte: The Camulod Chronicles, a series of books containing more historical fiction than fantasy beginning with Roman Britain and leading through Arthur's reign.
- Joan Wolf: The Road to Avalon (1988)
- Persia Woolley: Child of the Northern Spring, Queen of the Summer Stars, and Guinevere: The Legend in Autumn
- Sara Hawks Sterling: A Lady of King Arthur's Court
- Jacob Sannox: The Return of King Arthur consists of The Ravenmaster's Revenge (2019), Agravain's Escape (2020) and Tristan's Regret (TBC). The series is set in various time periods including Arthur's original reign, that of the Tudors and Stuarts, and from the 17th century (the time of Arthur's messianic return) up until the present day.
- King Arthur by Laurence Binyon, with music by Edward Elgar (1923)
- King Arthur by D. G. Bridson, with music by Benjamin Britten (1937)
- Camelot by Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe (1960). It is based on the King Arthur legend as adapted from the T. H. White novel The Once and Future King. Originally starring Richard Burton as Arthur, Julie Andrews as Guinevere, and introducing Robert Goulet as Lancelot. The original cast album of the show was a particular favorite of then-President John F. Kennedy, and the "Camelot" metaphor has been often associated with his presidency. Camelot, the movie, was filmed in 1967, with Richard Harris as King Arthur, Vanessa Redgrave as Guenevere, and Franco Nero as Lancelot.
- Merlin, a musical, with concept by illusionist Doug Henning and Barbara De Angelis, written by Richard Levinson and William Link, with music (and incidental music) by Elmer Bernstein and lyrics by Don Black (1983)
- Spamalot, by John Du Prez and Eric Idle, with lyrics and book by Eric Idle (2004). Adapted from the film Monty Python and the Holy Grail by Monty Python. It won the 2004–2005 Tony Award for Best Musical. Starring Tim Curry as King Arthur.
- La Légende du roi Arthur by Dove Attia, a French musical comedy that premiered in Paris in 2015.
- The Island of the Mighty, an Arthurian trilogy by John Arden and Margaretta Ruth D'Arcy (1972), produced by the Royal Shakespeare Company, Aldwych Theatre, which led to the creation of the Theatre Writers' Union
The Arthurian legend has proved a constant source of material for verse dramatists. Several adaptations exist, most dealing with the love triangle between Arthur, Guinevere and Lancelot. Some notable examples are:
Classical verse plays
- The Misfortunes of Arthur by Sir Thomas Hughes (1587)
- Vortigern: An Historical Tragedy in Five Acts by W. H. Ireland (1799)
- Tom Thumb the Great: A Burlesque Tragedy, in Two Acts Altered, from Fielding by Kane O'Hara (1805)
- King Arthur: Or, Launcelot the Loose, Gin-Ever the Square, and the Knights of the Round Table, and Other Furniture. A Burlesque Extravaganza by W. M. Akhurst, with editing by Rosemary Paprock (1868)
- The New King Arthur: An Opera Without Music by Edgar Fawcett (1885)
- The Marriage of Guinevere: A Tragedy by Richard Hovey (1891)
- The Quest of Merlin: A Prelude by Richard Hovey (1891)
- King Arthur by J. Comyns Carr, with music by Arthur Sullivan (1895)
- The Birth of Galahad by Richard Hovey (1898)
- Taliesin: A Masque by Richard Hovey (1900)
- Tristam & Iseult by J. Comyns Carr (1906)
- Guenevere: A Play in Five Acts by Stark Young (1906)
- Mordred, A Tragedy in Five Acts by Wilfred Cambell (1908)
Modern verse plays
- The Tragedy of Arthur by Arthur Phillips (2011) produced by Guerilla Shakespeare Project in NYC
- The Table Round and The Siege Perilous by Emily C. A. Snyder (2019) produced by Turn to Flesh Productions in NYC
- Henry Purcell: King Arthur (1691), libretto by John Dryden
- Richard Wagner: Lohengrin (1848), libretto by composer
- Richard Wagner: Tristan und Isolde (1865), libretto by composer
- Richard Wagner: Parsifal (1882), libretto by composer
- Karl Goldmark: Merlin (1886), libretto by Siegfried Lipiner
- Hubert Parry: Guinevere (1886)
- Amadeu Vives: Arthús (1895)
- Isaac Albéniz: Merlin (1897–1902), intended to be the first of a trilogy, libretto by Francis Money-Coutts, 5th Baron Latymer
- Ernest Chausson: Le roi Arthus (1903), libretto by composer
- Rutland Boughton: The Birth of Arthur (1909), libretto by Reginald Buckley
- Harrison Birtwistle: Gawain (1991), libretto by David Harsent
English-language theatrical films
Relatively straightforward adaptations of the legends, reconstructed history, or modern Arthurian material.
Adaptations of the original Arthurian Legend
These films are generally based on Matter of Britain which are set in medieval time period and King Arthur's the main character.
- The Adventures of Sir Galahad (1949), a film serial starring George Reeves, most known for playing Superman, as Sir Galahad as he attempts to keep Excalibur safe from the evil Saxons and Merlin's magic with the help of Morgan La Fey.
- Knights of the Round Table (1953), a film based on Le Morte d'Arthur, directed by Richard Thorpe with Robert Taylor as Lancelot, Ava Gardner as Guinevere, and Mel Ferrer in the role of Arthur.
- The Black Knight (1954), a film starring Alan Ladd as the titular Black Knight, a blacksmith named John who creates an alter ego to go after the men who are responsible for killing the mother of the woman he loves who are led by the traitorous Sir Palamides, played by Peter Cushing.
- Lancelot and Guinevere a.k.a. Sword of Lancelot (1963), a film directed by Cornel Wilde, who also stars as Lancelot, with Jean Wallace as Guinevere, and Brian Aherne as Arthur.
- Siege of the Saxons (1963), a British film inspired by the plot of Robin Hood in which King Arthur is killed by Edmund of Cornwall as he attempts to usurp Arthur's throne, but Arthur's daughter Katherine (played by Janette Scott) is able to escape with the help of a thieving archer named Robert Marshall who only steals from the rich (played by Ronald Lewis).
- Camelot (1967), a film adaption of the Broadway musical which is based on the novels The Ill-Made Knight and The Candle in the Wind from T.H. White's Once and Future King series. The film is directed by Joshua Logan and stars Richard Harris as Arthur, Vanessa Redgrave as Guinevere, and Franco Nero as Lancelot.
- Excalibur (1981), a film by John Boorman based largely on Le Morte D'Arthur, featuring Nicol Williamson as Merlin and Helen Mirren as Morgana, with Nigel Terry as Arthur, Nicholas Clay as Lancelot, and Liam Neeson as Gawain.
- First Knight (1995) is based on the abduction of Guinevere by the knight Malagant. It featured Sean Connery as Arthur, Richard Gere as Lancelot, and Julia Ormond as Guinevere.
- Arthur and Merlin (2015), Arthur (Kirk Barker) is a banished Celtic warrior, and Merlin (Stefan Butler) a hermit wizard. (direct-to-video)
- King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (2017) is a live-action film which follows a young Arthur who is learning how to master the sword Caliburn and fight his way back as rightful heir and king of ancient Britain. Charlie Hunnam played the titular role.
Adaptations of Tristan legend
English Language films that are based on the legend of Tristan and Iseult, which originated in the 12th century
- Tristan & Isolde (2006) a film adaption of the legend produced by Ridley Scott and his brother Tony Scott and directed by Kevin Reynolds, starring James Franco as Tristan and Sophia Myles as Isolde.
Adaptations of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (Middle English: Sir Gawayn and þe Grene Knyȝt) is a late 14th-century Middle English chivalric romance. It is one of the best known Arthurian stories, the following films are directly based on the romance:
- Gawain and the Green Knight (1973)
- Sword of the Valiant: The Legend of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (1984)
- The Green Knight (2021)
Films based on A Connecticut Yankee
- A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (1921)
- A Connecticut Yankee (1931) first sound film adaptation of Twain's novel, with Will Rogers as the time-traveling Yankee and William Farnum as Arthur.
- A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (1949) a musical film adaptation of Twain's novel, with Bing Crosby as the time-traveling Yankee and Cedric Hardwicke as Arthur.
- Unidentified Flying Oddball, aka The Spaceman and King Arthur or A Spaceman in King Arthur's Court (1979)
- A Kid in King Arthur's Court (1995)
- Black Knight (2001)
Films based on Prince Valiant
Prince Valiant's an American comic strip set within the Arthurian Legend. The following films were based on the comic strip:
Films set in the Roman Empire
These films generally feature King Arthur, in Roman Empire settings and as the main character.
- King Arthur (2004) a motion picture claiming to be more historically accurate (despite being heavily criticised for its historical inaccuracies) about the legend of Arthur as a 5th-century, British-born, Roman commander, with respect to new archaeological findings; similar in story line to Jack Whyte's books.
- The Last Legion (2007)
- Pendragon: Sword of His Father (2008) (direct-to-video)
- Knight-mare Hare (1955), Looney Tunes animated shorts with Bugs Bunny taking on Arthurian legend.
- Knighty Knight Bugs (1958), Looney Tunes animated shorts with Bugs Bunny taking on Arthurian legend.
- The Sword in the Stone, a 1963 Disney animated film about Arthur's childhood, loosely adapted from T.H. White's novel of the same name.
- Willy McBean and his Magic Machine (1965), as stop-motion animated film loosely based on Arthurian Legend.
- Pound Puppies and the Legend of Big Paw (1988) contains an early scene taking place in the "Dark Ages" and featuring a young Arthur as he finds Excalibur and becomes king.
- Quest for Camelot (1998) with King Arthur ruling over a besieged Camelot.
- Shrek the Third (2007), parody of the arthurian legend.
- Scooby-Doo! The Sword and the Scoob (2021), Scooby-Doo direct-to-DVD film taking on Arthurian legend.
Modernization and parodies
Productions whose plot "updates" or otherwise moves the legend to modern times.
- Parsifal (1904) (based on Wagner opera)
- Knights of the Square Table (1917)
- King Arthur Was a Gentleman (1942)
- Squareheads of the Round Table (1948)
- Knutzy Knights (1954)
- Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975), a comedic parody of the traditional King Arthur legend. It was later adapted into a successful Broadway musical called Spamalot. Arthur was played by Graham Chapman in the film.
- Knightriders (1981)
- The Last Starfighter (1984)
- The Fisher King (1991)
- Army of Darkness (1992), Third in the Evil Dead trilogy sees the protagonist, Ash, sent back to medieval Britain where he defends Lord Arthur from an army of the dead.
- Seaview Knights (1994) (direct-to-video)
- Kids of the Round Table (1995)
- Merlin's Shop of Mystical Wonders (1996) (direct-to-video)
- The Mighty (1998)
- Merlin: The Return (2000)
- The Sorcerer's Apprentice (2001)
- The Sorcerer's Apprentice (2010)
- Merlin and the War of the Dragons (2008)(direct-to-video)
- Transformers: The Last Knight (2017)
- The Kid Who Would Be King (2019)
Foreign-language films based on the medieval Arthurian legends
- Lancelot du Lac (France, 1974)
- Perceval le Gallois (France, 1978)
- Kaamelott: The First Chapter (France, 2021)
Films based on Richard Wagner's Parsifal
Foreign-language films that are based on Wagner opera
Films based on the Tristan legend
Foreign-language films that are based on the legend of Tristan and Iseult
- L'Éternel retour (France, 1943)
- Feuer und Schwert (West Germany, 1981)
- La Femme d'à côté (France, 1981) (modern day adaption of the Tristan Legend)
- In the Shadow of the Raven (Iceland, 1988)
- Connemara (1989)
- Pardes (India, 1997) (modern day adaption of the Tristan Legend)
Foreign-language animation, derivative works, parodies and modern settings:
- New Adventures of a Yankee in King Arthur's Court (USSR, 1988) A Soviet adaption, of Mark Twain's novel A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court'
- Dragon and Slippers (1990) (Animated film)
- Avalon (Poland & Japan, 2001) (A parody film that updates the legend to modern settings)
English-language, Live-action Television series and films
Television films and specials
- Camelot (1982) a videotaped stage performance of the Broadway musical based on T.H. White's The Once and Future King series, presented on HBO.
- Gawain and the Green Knight (1991) a British television film adaption of the poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, directed by John Michael Phillips and starring Malcolm Storry as the Green Knight and Jason Durr as Sir Gawain, with Marc Warren as King Arthur.
- Guinevere (1994), A Lifetime Television movie based on the Arthurian legend. The story is told from Queen Guinevere's point of view, presenting her as the driving force behind the success of Camelot.
- 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 2004 film King Arthur, 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.
Television films and specials, modernization and parodies
- Avalon High (TV film, 2010) Britt Robertson is cast as Arthur as the setting of this Disney Channel Original Movie is a mix of battle sequences and a high school setting . Allie Pennington, (Robertson) learns she is the reincarnation of the legendary king.
- Merlin and the Sword a.k.a. Arthur the King (1985) is an American television movie that was filmed in 1982 about a woman falling into an icy cave at Stonehenge and waking up in Arthurian times.
- Merlin and the Dragons (1991)
- The Four Diamonds (1995)
- A Knight in Camelot (1998) based on A Connecticut Yankee by Mark Twain
- The Excalibur Kid (1999)
Television mini series
- The 1979 mini series The Legend of King Arthur is a BBC adaption of the story produced by Ken Riddington and starring Andrew Burt as Arthur.
- The 1998 television mini series Merlin (1998) shows the tale of Arthur and his knights from Merlin's perspective, starring Sam Neill.
- Merlin's Apprentice (2006) (very loose retelling set after death of Arthur)
- Marion Zimmer Bradley's The Mists of Avalon was made into a miniseries by TNT in 2001.
- The 1950s British television series The Adventures of Sir Lancelot (1956–57), recounts the knight's exploits and stars William Russell as the titular character, most known for his role as Ian Chesterton in Doctor Who. It featured Arthur and many other characters from the legends and it was the first British television series ever to be made in colour (although surviving episodes of season 1 are in black and white), and one of the first to be aired by an American network. Although it suffered low ratings due to CBS’s Burns and Allen airing at the same time slot.
- The 1970s British television series, Arthur of the Britons (1972–1973), 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.
- Merlin (2008-2012) is the BBC's second Arthurian adaptation after the 1979 mini-series, this time a retelling following a young Merlin and Arthur (played by Colin Morgan and Bradley James, respectively) and their journey towards fulfilling their destiny.
- Camelot is a series on Starz which is an adaption of Le Morte D'Arthur that debuted February 25th, 2011. It begins at the very earliest story with twenty-year-old Arthur (Jamie Campbell Bower), long lost son of Uther Pendragon, being crowned king and pulling the Sword of Mars from a stone after his half-sister Morgan (Eva Green) poisons their father. A more adult-oriented take on the Arthurian legends than the concurrent series Merlin, it was cancelled after one season because of many scheduling conflicts of the cast and showrunners.
- Cursed (2020) is a Netflix adaption of the Frank Miller graphic novel of the same name, following Nimue (Katherine Langford) who wields Excalibur and Arthur (Devon Terrell) who is a sellsword.
Television series, modernization and parodies
- Raven (1977)
- Mr. Merlin (1981–82), Merlin lives in modern times.
- Small World (1988)
- Doctor Who - Battlefield (1988–1989)
- Sir Gadabout: The Worst Knight in the Land (2002–2003), a children's spoof of the Arthurian legend.
- Stargate SG-1 Season 9 to 10 (2006–2007)
- The BBC series Merlin (2008-2012) is a re-imagining of the legend in which the future King Arthur and Merlin are young contemporaries in Uther's kingdom. Arthur quickly transitions from a spoiled young prince into a beloved king, while Merlin perfects his magic arts in secret. Inspired by Smallville (which was a similar show featuring Superman characters) and the subject of critical acclaim, Merlin ran for five series.
- The ABC series Once Upon a Time (2011-2018) features many aspects from the Arthurian legends. Camelot is mentioned several times as a region within the Enchanted Forest. Also, Lancelot appears in the second and fifth seasons. In the fifth season, the heroes seek out the sorcerer Merlin to battle the darkness that currently plagues hero-turned-villain Emma Swan. In the third episode of the season, King Arthur (portrayed once again by Liam Garrigan) is revealed to be a villain. As the season progresses, his villainous acts are discovered by the heroes, including his killing of Merida's father, but he is eventually defeated and imprisoned. Towards the end of the season, he is killed by the god of the Underworld, Hades, and is sent to the Underworld. It is there he encounters a deceased Killian Jones, and they work together to help the heroes in the living realm defeat Hades. With the underworld in disarray, Arthur realizes a prophecy he heard that he would repair a broken kingdom wasn't talking about Camelot, but the Underworld. He then bids Killian farewell, and hopes to redeem himself by helping the souls of the deceased.
- The Canadian TV show Guinevere Jones (2006) features a reincarnation of Guinevere who is helped by the spirit of Merlin to learn magic and fight against Morgana, and dealing with High School problems.
- The first season of the American television show The Librarians is centered on the efforts of an elderly Lancelot (using his last name, Dulaque, as an alias) to restore Camelot, which he considers to be a golden age of humanity. He manages to release magic back into the world using Excalibur in the second episode, ("And The Sword In the Stone"), and eventually uses a collection of artifacts gathered by the Librarians to access the Loom of Fate, which he tampers with to restore his youth and restart history at the beginning of Camelot. However, Galahad (who has assumed the identity of the Library's caretaker, Jenkins), returns and distracts him long enough for the Librarians to undo the damage, causing Lancelot to disappear.
- The upcoming TV series Pendragon features the disgraced detective Jude Pendragon as he covertly goes through cold case files and finds one that takes him into another realm of reality, one from which he may, or may not, escape as he entered.
Television films and specials
- "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court" (1970) was an animated early segment of the Famous Classic Tales specials, produced by the Hanna-Barbera Australian subsidiary, Air Programs International
- A Connecticut Rabbit in King Arthur's Court (1978), also known as Bugs Bunny in King Arthur's Court, a Looney Tunes TV special.
- A Connecticut Mouse in King Arthur’s Court (1980), an episode of The Tom and Jerry Comedy Show
- The Australian animated cartoon series Arthur! and the Square Knights of the Round Table (1966–1968) was a typically wacky take on Arthurian legend.
- In Sabrina the Animated Series episode "Hexcalibur" features Harvey Kinkle as the young King Arthur voiced by Bill Switzer (very loose adaptation)
- The animated series The Legend of Prince Valiant (1991–1993) followed the adventures of three young warriors training to become Knights of the Round Table. The series 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 (1992–1993) 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.
- Starting within its "Avalon World Tour" story arc, a few episodes of Disney's Gargoyles (1994–1997) devoted themselves partly to Arthur Pendragon, after NYPD detective Elisa Maza awakens the King from his "eternal slumber" within Avalon's "hollow hill" sanctuary. Arthur goes on to recover his sword Excalibur while visiting New York (and directly confronting Macbeth while recovering it), and while in New York, knights the London Clan gargoyle Griff to become his traveling companion from Griff's assistance to the king in recovering Excalibur, as Arthur begins a quest to find Merlin.
- Blazing Dragons (1996–1998), The series' protagonists are anthropomorphic dragons who are beset by evil humans, reversing a common story convention. The series parodies that of the King Arthur Tales as well as the periods of the Middle Ages
- Dragon Booster (2004–2006), A teenager named Artha Penn teams up with a dragon named Beau and Artha was the chosen hero called the Dragon Booster.
- The British animated cartoon series King Arthur's Disasters (2005–2006). Where Arthur is voiced by Rik Mayall.
- The computer-animated series Trollhunters: Tales of Arcadia (2016–2018) features the wizard Merlin as the creator of the Trollhunter's amulet, and his arch-enemy Morgana as one of the main villains of the third season. The series Wizards: Tales of Arcadia (2020) features the return of Merlin and Morgana. Camelot also appears, as members of the main cast travel back to Arthurian times, in the process meeting King Arthur and Lancelot.
Foreign-language television series and films
Live-action television series
- The French series Kaamelott (2005–2009) features a humorous take on the legend.
- Het huis Anubis en de vijf van het magische zwaard (Dutch Nickelodeon series, 2010–2011)
Animated television series
- King Arthur & the Knights of the Round Table (Entaku no Kishi Monogatari: Moero Arthur), a Japanese anime series produced by Toei Animation from 1979 to 1980, followed by King Arthur: Prince on White Horse (Moero Arthur: Hakuba no Oji) in 1980.
- The episode "Minnade Daietto!" (English: "Eh! History Changed!?") of the 1991 Japanese anime series Mischievous Twins: The Tales of St. Clare's deals with the abduction of Queen Guinevere by Sir Maleagant and about how she is set free by Sir Lancelot.
- The Japanese anime series Code Geass (2006–2007, 2008) featured The Knights of the Round, a unit of twelve elite knights in the Holy Empire of Britannia, each being assigned into the group by royalty and under direct command of the Emperor. Each knights pilot a Knightmare Frame, a humanoid shaped war machine. Their Knightmare Frame were named after the Arthurian Knights such as Lancelot, Gawain, and Tristan. The capital city of the Holy Britannian Empire, Pendragon, is also named after King Arthur's surname.
- In the Japanese anime adaptation of the visual novel Fate/stay night (2006, 2014–2015), Arthur is portrayed as having been a woman (named Artoria) whose spirit is resurrected to serve a mage in the modern day as "Saber", with history recording her as a man for political correctness. She reprises this role in the adaptation's prequel Fate/Zero (2011–2012), which also features a version of Lancelot. Artoria also appears in the film Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works (2010), and a recreated anime series (2014–2015) based on the latter, as well as a number of spinoffs based on the franchise. In addition, the OVA Fate/Prototype (2011) (based on an earlier draft of Fate/stay night's story) features a male version of King Arthur, known in the expanded universe as "Prototype Saber", often shortened to "Proto-Saber". Meanwhile, Fate/Apocrypha (2017) features Mordred as a Saber-class familiar, wielding the sword Clarent.
- The Japanese anime Highschool DxD (2012, 2013, 2015, 2018), the Arthurian legend also plays an important factor in the series such as the Welsh Dragon, the White dragon and King Arthur's dual swords Excalibur and Caliburn, Merlin the wizard of Arthurian Legend was stated to be one of the most important pioneer of magic, two of the main character were direct descendants of King Arthur, Arthur Pendragon and Le Fay Pendragon, the latter being the love interest of the protagonist Issei Hyoudou.
- Arthur serves as the main antagonist in the Japanese anime Nobunaga the Fool (2014). The anime is a sci-fi telling of famed ancient heroes from the west, such as Arthur, Caesar, and Alexander, going to war against famed ancient heroes from the east, such as Nobunaga, Mitsuhide, and Kenshin over control over two planets, both of which represent Europe and Japan.
- In Season 2 Episode 15 "The Queen of the Lake" (2014) of Japanese anime Sword Art Online, the main cast is given a quest to save an ancient race of elves from which the main characters races branch from. The reward for the quest is the item known as Excalibur, a legendary sword from Arthurian lore.
- Japanese Anime The Seven Deadly Sins (2014–2015, 2016, 2018, 2019, 2020) contains several parts of Arthurian legend; such as one of the strongest characters being called King Arthur and his dominion being called Camelot, even though King Arthur's origin castle is the Tintagel Castle.
- Divine Gate (2016), Japanese anime based on the Smart phone game of same name, which retelling of Arthurian legend.
- A sword-wielding character named Arthur appears in David Production's anime adaptation of the manga series Fire Force by Atsushi Ohkubo. As his pyrokinetic ability, he wields a sword named Excalibur whose blade is made of plasma. Believing himself to be a knight, his power increases as these convictions grow.
- Morgan le Fay, Frederick Sandys, 1864
- The Beguiling of Merlin, Edward Burne-Jones, 1872-1877
- The Last Sleep of Arthur in Avalon, Edward Burne-Jones, 1881-1898
- The Lady of Shalott, John William Waterhouse, 1888
- The Lady of Shalott Looking at Lancelot, John William Waterhouse, 1894
- I Am Half-Sick of Shadows, Said the Lady of Shalott, John William Waterhouse, 1915
King Arthur is the namesake of a brand of flour, King Arthur Flour.
- The board game Shadows Over Camelot features King Arthur as one of the main playable characters in the game.
- In the science fiction miniature game Warhammer 40k, the Emperor of Mankind drew many similar inspiration from Arthurian legends while the treacherous Warmaster Horus and Horus Heresy is similar to Mordred.
- In the fantasy miniature game Warhammer Fantasy Battle, the background of Bretonnia is strongly based on Arthurian legends, including the Grail and the Lady of the Lake.
- King Arthur alongside many of his knights appear under stylized names in the card game Yugioh in the "Knight of the Round Table" set. Merlin, the Lady of the Lake and Avalon are also referenced.
- 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. 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.
- The storygame Arthur's Legacy (Rise of Avalon) presents a world where Avalon rises from the sea triggering a Rebirth of magic and mystical creatures, as well the return of immortal nobility including King Arthur, his bastard son Mordred, and the witch Anna Morgause. Participants portray reincarnated knights, who embody ideals and wield the ability to perform miracles.
- King Arthur: The Role-playing Wargame a real time strategy and role-playing game by Neocore Games from 2009
- Excalibur: Morgana's Revenge, a real time strategy and role-playing game by ExcaliburWorld Software from 2007.
- King Arthur by Krome Studios is based on the 2004 film of the same name.
- King Arthur & the Knights of Justice by Enix is based on the cartoon series of the same name.
- Stronghold Legends by Firefly Studios campaign includes King Arthur's legend
- Conquests of Camelot by Sierra Entertainment centers around the quest for the Holy Grail.
- Knights of the Round by Capcom is a light-hearted take on the Arthurian legend in a sword fighting beat-em-up similar to the video game Final Fight.
- Blazing Dragons by Crystal Dynamics and Nelvana that the game controls Flicker, a young inventor in Camel-hot who dreamed about becoming a knight. It is based on the cartoon TV series of the same name.
- Tomb Raider: Legend by Crystal Dynamics revolves around the King Arthur legend resembling those of other cultures around the world; pieces of artifacts are forms of Excalibur.
- Tomb Raider: Underworld by Crystal Dynamics revolves around Lara trying to find Avalon to find her mother.
- In Final Fantasy VII, the final and most powerful summon materia is Knights of the Round which has 12 knights striking an enemy with the last knight obviously being King Arthur through his extended entrance and grander appearance.
- Fate/stay night, a visual novel/eroge and anime, features a young female knight called Saber whose true name is Artoria. She became King by pulling free the sword from the stone. Knowing that armies wouldn't follow a woman, she renamed herself King Arthur and used Merlin's magic to hide her gender. Bedivere attends to her as she is dying.
- Fate/Zero, a prequel, features not only the above King Arthur/Saber, but also Lancelot as a Black Knight under the class Berserker.
- The spinoff game Fate/extra features Gawain as an enemy-exclusive Saber-class character.
- The light-novel series Fate/Apocrypha - a parallel world spinoff based on a cancelled MMO concept - features Mordred as a Saber-class for one of the two factions, who, like King Arthur/Saber, is gender-swapped, detailed in the story as being a homunculus half-clone of King Arthur that was created from mixing the King's genes with those of Morgan le Fay. Mordred wields the sword Clarent.
- All of the aforementioned characters would later appear in the mobile game Fate/Grand Order alongside versions of Galahad, Gareth, Agravaine and Tristan. Lancelot would come to have another version summonable as the Saber-class in which he is sane, unlike his Berserker form. Artoria would also receive multiple versions of her character, notably a Lancer-class version wielding the spear Rhongomyniad, in addition to corrupted Alter forms and an alternate-universe male form known as "Proto-Saber".
- RuneScape a MMORPG , King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table are portrayed as having settled in the game's fictional world while awaiting Britain's 'time of greatest need'.
- Dark Age of Camelot' a MMORPG' takes place after King Arthur's death.
- The Soul series by Namco features Arthur as a samurai. He wields a katana named Gassan.
- Sonic and the Black Knight on Wii features the main protagonist, Sonic the Hedgehog saving the city Camelot from King Arthur after he becomes corrupt and calls himself the Black Knight. After defeating the Black Knight/King Arthur, Merlin's granddaughter Merlina reveals to Sonic & the Knight of the Roundtable that the King Arthur they knew was a fake created by her grandfather. In the end, Sonic was revealed to be King Arthur himself, as Caliburn (actually Excalibur) said he was the one who decides who is worthy of the crown.
- Sir Lancelot is used as character in a 1984 platform / arcade game for the Sinclair ZX Spectrum.
- Fire Emblem: Fūin no Tsurugi a tactical JRPG contains many characters whose names allude to the King Arthur legend. Although there is no Arthur, characters include: Guinevere, Igraine, Gorlois, Lance, Percival, Uther, Lot, Bors, Merlinus, Niime and Nacien. The game's prequel, Fire Emblem: Rekka no Ken, introduces Ninian, but on the whole this game draws more from medieval French mythology than British and Arthurian.
- Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War, a 2006 Namco game, is heavily based on the Arthurian legend, with allusions to Excalibur, Avalon, etc.
- The Order: 1886
- Wizard101: Morganthe's Arc, Avalon story line (Arc 2 World 3) (video game)
- Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings: King Arthur represented by a champion infantry.
- Young Merlin, a 1994 Super NES game.
- Kingdoms of Camelot (KoC) a massively multiplayer online real-time strategy browser game created by Canadian studio Kabam. A build and warfare game, released in 2009 and linked to Facebook Game platform.
- The concept album The Myths and Legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table (1975) by Rick Wakeman tells a version of the legend.
- The 1986 concept album The Legend by Italo Disco singer Valerie Dore.
- The 1995 album Imaginations from the Other Side by the power-metal band Blind Guardian contains numerous songs referencing Arthurian legends, including "A Past and Future Secret," about the battle of Camlann, and "Mordred's Song."
- The 2004 expanded edition of heavy metal singer Bruce Dickinson's 6th solo album The Chemical Wedding features a song called "Return of the King," which heavily references Arthurian elements including Uther Pendragon.
- The American power-metal band Kamelot has many songs with Arthurian elements in their discography.(Once and Future King and Shadow of Uther
- In 2003 hard rock musician Gary Hughes put out two albums, Once and Future King Part I and Once and Future King Part II, based on the legend.
- The German metal band Grave Digger released a concept album about the story of King Arthur called Excalibur
- English folk singer Maddy Prior released a 2001 concept album Arthur the King
- The 1995 album The Final Experiment by Ayreon, its concept is located in King Arthur's timeline.
- England based metalband Cradle of Filth wrote a song called "Haunted Shores", which deals with the subject of King Arthur from a pagan perspective.
- Canadian folk singer Heather Dale has released several albums and songs relating to Arthurian legends, chiefly the 2000 album The Trial of Lancelot, the 2003 album May Queen, and the 2010 album Avalon
- The 2014 album High Noon Over Camelot by British folk band The Mechanisms is a sci-fi western retelling of Arthurian legends
Anthem of Cornwall
- 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."
- "Elgar - His Music : King Arthur Suite". www.elgar.org. Retrieved 2019-12-12.
- "BRITTEN'S KING ARTHUR | Paul Hindmarsh". www.paulhindmarsh.com. Retrieved 2019-12-12.
- Faudeux, Stephan, ed. (3 November 2016). "La Légende du Roi Arthur revit dans un décor virtuel griffé D/Labs et AMD". Sonovision. Retrieved 5 April 2017.
- "Interview with John Arden and Margaretta D'Arcy | Robbins Library Digital Projects". d.lib.rochester.edu. Retrieved 2019-12-12.
- Leach, Robert (2012-01-01). "A mighty bust-up: John Arden and Margaretta D'Arcy's The Island of the Mighty at the Aldwych theatre, December 1972". Studies in Theatre and Performance. 32 (1): 3–14. doi:10.1386/stap.32.1.3_1. ISSN 1468-2761.
- Coveney, Michael (2012-03-30). "John Arden obituary". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2019-12-12.
- Fisher, Benjamin Franklin (1990). "King Arthur Plays from the 1890s". Victorian Poetry. 28 (3/4): 153–176. ISSN 0042-5206. JSTOR 40002298.
- "The Misfortunes of Arthur | Robbins Library Digital Projects". d.lib.rochester.edu. Retrieved 2019-12-06.
- "Vortigern: An Historical Tragedy in Five Acts | Robbins Library Digital Projects". d.lib.rochester.edu. Retrieved 2019-12-06.
- "Tom Thumb the Great: A Burlesque Tragedy, in Two Acts, Altered, from Fielding | Robbins Library Digital Projects". d.lib.rochester.edu. Retrieved 2019-12-06.
- "King Arthur: Or, Launcelot the Loose, Gin-Ever the Square, and the Knights of the Round Table, and Other Furniture. A Burlesque Extravaganza | Robbins Library Digital Projects". d.lib.rochester.edu. Retrieved 2019-12-12.
- "The New King Arthur: An Opera without Music | Robbins Library Digital Projects". d.lib.rochester.edu. Retrieved 2019-12-06.
- "The Marriage of Guenevere: A Tragedy | Robbins Library Digital Projects". d.lib.rochester.edu. Retrieved 2019-12-06.
- "The Quest of Merlin: A Prelude | Robbins Library Digital Projects". d.lib.rochester.edu. Retrieved 2019-12-06.
- "J. Comyns Carr's King Arthur: A Drama in a Prologue and Four Acts | Robbins Library Digital Projects". d.lib.rochester.edu. Retrieved 2019-12-06.
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- "Taliesin: A Masque | Robbins Library Digital Projects". d.lib.rochester.edu. Retrieved 2019-12-06.
- "Tristram & Iseult: A Drama in Four Acts | Robbins Library Digital Projects". d.lib.rochester.edu. Retrieved 2019-12-06.
- "Guenevere: A Play in Five Acts | Robbins Library Digital Projects". d.lib.rochester.edu. Retrieved 2019-12-06.
- "Mordred: A Tragedy in Five Acts, founded on the Arthurian relation of Sir Thomas Malory | Robbins Library Digital Projects". d.lib.rochester.edu. Retrieved 2019-12-06.
- "GSP - Arthur". guerrillashakespeare.org. Retrieved 2019-12-06.
- "The Table Round". TURN TO FLESH PRODUCTIONS. Retrieved 2019-12-12.
- BWW News Desk. "Photo Flash: Turn To Flesh Productions Creates 'New Shakespeare Plays' For Womxn and Underrepresented Artists In Classical Theatre". BroadwayWorld.com. Retrieved 2019-12-12.
- "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (1921)". IMDb. Retrieved 7 April 2018.
- "A Connecticut Yankee (1931)". IMDb. Retrieved 7 April 2018.
- "New Adventures of a Yankee in King Arthur's Court (1988)". IMDb. Retrieved 7 April 2018.
- "Song Wiki". Heather Dale. Retrieved 16 November 2020.
- Rodney Parish's Arthurian Comics List, Rodney Parrish.
- Camelot In Four Colors: A Survey of the Arthurian Legend in Comics, Alan Stewart.
- Camelot 3000 and Beyond: An Annotated Listing of Arthurian Comic Books Published in the United States c. 1980-1998 (Revised Edition, May 2000), Michael Torregrossa, part of The Arthuriana/Camelot Project Bibliographies.
- Arthurian Film by Kevin J. Harty