What’s it all about? [King Arthur, that is]

When you get past the bad movies and corny TV shows and go back to the actual Arthurian legend, what’s it all about?

Greetings friends, I’ve just put up the newest video in my “King Arthur 101” video series for YouTube, which takes a look at what the real legend of King Arthur is actually about. And you can conveniently find it, as well as a transcript, right here. 

Focus on FUN!

In making the video, I actually realized something important about the way most people perceive the Arthurian legend. I’ve always wondered at the phenomenon of how people love Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones but think that King Arthur is just stupid and boring. I always thought it was because almost all of the King Arthur movies we’ve seen are so lame (there’s going to be an upcoming video about why the movies are so bad), but in making the video, I realized another aspect of the way the legend is portrayed….

The thing is, we only hear about the triumphs of King Arthur and his knights… the knights in shining armor saving damsels in distress, the achievement of the Holy Grail (although geez, if that’s an achievement…) and stuff like that, because that’s the positive, fun stuff. The battles, the achievements, the triumphs… but the darker stuff, that gives the legend its depth and texture, is left out of most popular tellings.

Make room for failure!

In making the video it occurred to me that it’s the rise and fall of Camelot that gives the story its incredible poignancy. It’s the achievements and failure of King Arthur that make his story so moving. Because the story is so vast and epic in scope it’s hard to make a movie about the whole thing, and what we usually focus on are the wins, and thus from a distance, the whole thing can look a bit shallow and even vapid.

You can bet that I’m including the darker side as I write my Swithen novels because–another thing writing this series has taught me about myself–is that I like it as dark, complicated and tragic as possible! If I can make life even more difficult for my characters, I want to! And as the series progresses (we’re still writing Arthur’s young childhood at this point) a lot of that overwhelming, beautiful tragedy will be built right in.

Anyway, please watch (and share) the video, and take the time to let us know what you think. Best wishes– Scott



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