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View Full Version : King Arthur - disappointing historical inaccuracy


Funkodrom
16-07-2004, 13:26:29
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/film/3898111.stm

John Matthews thinks the film's portrayal of the usually ladylike Guinevere as a warrior queen was realistic.

"Celts and Picts both had women warriors, and they were often naked - we couldn't have Keira naked, so we went for the next best thing," he said.

Shame. :(

King_Ghidra
16-07-2004, 13:34:37
'we couldn't have keira naked'?! why not?! what the hell is wrong with these people?!

Funkodrom
16-07-2004, 13:40:08
Is 'the next best thing' someone else naked?

Venom
16-07-2004, 13:59:51
I would think so.

Gary
16-07-2004, 15:21:50
So long as it's not any of you guys.

Venom
16-07-2004, 15:45:02
Yes, because we're all women warriors.

Funkodrom
16-07-2004, 15:48:53
Speak for yourself Bodeciea

Venom
16-07-2004, 15:53:36
I'll crush you between my huge tits.

Funkodrom
16-07-2004, 15:59:43
Woo hoo!

King_Ghidra
16-07-2004, 16:03:21
:lol:

Japher
16-07-2004, 17:15:18
man boobs rule!

Angelhorns
17-07-2004, 00:27:44
Keira Knightley is a drip/boy in a wig, and has the acting skills of a 6th former in a school panto- ARRRRRRRGH!

BigGameHunter
17-07-2004, 00:37:46
Meeeeeeeow!

zmama
17-07-2004, 00:40:12
there are kitties in the film too?!


Awwwwwwwwww

Angelhorns
17-07-2004, 00:45:48
:lol:

but returning to Funko's quote, isnt the whole story a historical innacuracy? I cant count the number of places I've been to/read about that claim to be the site of the 'real' Camelot. Its all hokey.

BigGameHunter
17-07-2004, 00:46:14
Yes! All dressed up in chainmail and reeking of black plague boils and stuff.
Cuuuuuute!

Angelhorns
17-07-2004, 00:47:10
may I just take this opportunity to say, 'Clive Owen- phwooooar!'
I hope he's the next Bond

The Mad Monk
17-07-2004, 04:07:32
http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/40388000/jpg/_40388217_arthur203.jpg

They hired a pixie to play Guinevere?

BigGameHunter
17-07-2004, 17:01:19
For once, AH is right....she does look like a boy in a wig!

Following in the steps of the best traditions of English Theatah!

Angelhorns
17-07-2004, 20:31:24
if you see her in bend it like beckham she's virtually transgender

Angelhorns
17-07-2004, 20:31:52
oh...and I'm always right :D

Darkstar
19-07-2004, 20:09:31
Well, there really was an Arthur. And he knocked the snot out of everyone else.

Other then that though... yeah, it's all fiction. ;)

Funkodrom
20-07-2004, 09:36:20
Originally posted by Angelhorns
:lol:

but returning to Funko's quote, isnt the whole story a historical innacuracy? I cant count the number of places I've been to/read about that claim to be the site of the 'real' Camelot. Its all hokey.

Well... I've actually been doing a bit of reading on this recently (before news of the film) and it does seem to be at least slightly more consistent to the most current historical view of the basis of the King Arthur legend.

It's clearly not "the true story" though. It's a "dramatization loosely based on a relatively well respected historical theory".

Angelhorns
20-07-2004, 21:52:22
I don't think there is one view though- the Welsh Cornish and English all claim Arthur was there, and various hard up historians periodically release books about how they've discovered startling new evidence (that is usually far from startling) and there's basically not a shred of historical evidence anywhere to suggest he ever lived. He is probably an amalgam of various legends tales and characters combined over the years. Like Robin Hood (or Ribbin Hod as Eddie Izzard says).
I did see a fairly convincing guy a few years back who had a load of evidence Arthur was from near Cardiff- he pointed out the Welsh names etc, found a grave, found a castle, found mention of a great Welsh King blah blah, but no one can ever prove it.

Funkodrom
21-07-2004, 08:07:20
I didn't say there was only one view, only that this was the most current. :)

shagnasty
21-07-2004, 18:39:36
I've just finished reading the Warlord trilogy (well the 1st and 3rd books of it anyway) by Bernard Cornwell. Very entertaining but complete bollocks obviously.
There was however an historical note at the back which does state that nigh on every county on England, Wales and Scotland is the 'original sighting for Camelot', however there is no solid evidence that there was a 'King Arthur', but there is evidence of a great warlord who did manage to fend off the Saxons at least untill he died, and who the Romans called Arturus or summit like that.

The Shaker
21-07-2004, 19:15:09
I really liked Stephen Lawheads Arthur series.

Angelhorns
21-07-2004, 21:37:36
Originally posted by shagnasty
I've just finished reading the Warlord trilogy (well the 1st and 3rd books of it anyway) by Bernard Cornwell. Very entertaining but complete bollocks obviously.
There was however an historical note at the back which does state that nigh on every county on England, Wales and Scotland is the 'original sighting for Camelot', however there is no solid evidence that there was a 'King Arthur', but there is evidence of a great warlord who did manage to fend off the Saxons at least untill he died, and who the Romans called Arturus or summit like that.

thats what I mean though- all these places have a similar story. I think they've just merged, they are all archetypes- the brave king, the faithful lady, the gallant knight etc. Great story though. I like Merlin the beardy wizard...

Funkodrom
21-07-2004, 22:46:52
I think there was one original story but it was so good all the places claimed it for their own. The Roman one does actually make some sense unlike a lot of them (not that I'm saying it's right, impossible to know that).

Darkstar
21-07-2004, 22:56:10
Angelhorns, you really haven't checked far into Arthur, have you?

Guenny is not faithful. She's faithless. That's her whole point in the legends... by betraying Arthur with his bestest friend, personal champion, and staunchest ally (and that's in every Arthur legend and classic retelling since the Victorians first resurrected/popularized the tales), she brings a little rain, misery, and pain into Arthur's otherwise perfect life. She's the keystone destroyer of Camelot... without the "faithful" Gwen (who is the perfection of all things woman in all the tales), Camelot would otherwise remain perfect. With her betrayal of Arthur, she mortally wounds Arthur in his spirit, destroying his interests in the world, and thus allows Camelot to begin to rot and eventually become corrupt.

The Arthurian legends are extremely anti-women. There is only one truly "good" woman to be featured in the classic tales... all others have all woman to be protrayed either as pure objects (contested over for winning as a prize wife, sent as sexual payment in a temptation morality tale, instigator of a lifelong rivalry between knights although she isn't ever remembered again past the first the spark of competition, etc etc etc) or pure evil (witches, devil's daughters, god's personally cursed and taking it out on all creation, etc etc etc).

Now, if you get outside the classic Victorian tales (which are the first published "Romance" novels), you'll find archtypical war stories of good ole 'Artur' (or his father 'Urtur')... none of which feature anything like Lancelot or Gwenny. Those are purely modern additions to make a book of romance tales to be sold to the literate women of the times.

Merlin the wizard/druid/demon, however, has long been featured in the old tales of Artur. Indeed, some traditional tellings have Merlin being Artur's father. Others have him being the head priest of the Island, and joining and guiding the future warrior king versus all that threatened Merlin's island and followers.

There's are even a few odd lines where Artur (Common Name) is Merlin (Secret/Magic Name). But the academics think that those versions were used as tales of some "pagan" religions to pass on their teachings and practice without becoming fully Christianized. Other variations grouped into this branch (by various Arthurian academics) has Merlin being Artur's personal guardian spirit, but not an actual living mortal. This puts to my mind that each group's tellings of Artur, 'the Great Warlord', added what they believed he'd must have had supporting and working with him to become such.

shagnasty
22-07-2004, 20:05:44
Mr. Lot was a cunt in the warlord series. Thats why Arties bird let him have a portion. Just a wee twist on the story. Merlin couldn't give a fuck about Art, he was to busy collecting wives. The only time he helped Arfer was if it helped him.
Thats why I enjoyed it. It wasn't the same old drivle that would normally find in an Arthur novel.

Angelhorns
23-07-2004, 00:29:22
Originally posted by Funkodrom
I think there was one original story but it was so good all the places claimed it for their own. The Roman one does actually make some sense unlike a lot of them (not that I'm saying it's right, impossible to know that).

that doesnt really make sense though, since Britain was a feudal country at the time you're suggesting this story originated- one story couldnt possibly have been known by or penetrated all the disparate languages, societies and peoples. I think its more likely that a kind of Chinese whispers has taken place over time with different areas integrating stories and myths and archetypes, and probably finishing up with the Victorian Romantic version we still use today.

Angelhorns
23-07-2004, 00:39:16
Originally posted by Darkstar
Angelhorns, you really haven't checked far into Arthur, have you?

Guenny is not faithful. She's faithless. That's her whole point in the legends... by betraying Arthur with his bestest friend, personal champion, and staunchest ally (and that's in every Arthur legend and classic retelling since the Victorians first resurrected/popularized the tales), she brings a little rain, misery, and pain into Arthur's otherwise perfect life. She's the keystone destroyer of Camelot... without the "faithful" Gwen (who is the perfection of all things woman in all the tales), Camelot would otherwise remain perfect. With her betrayal of Arthur, she mortally wounds Arthur in his spirit, destroying his interests in the world, and thus allows Camelot to begin to rot and eventually become corrupt.

The Arthurian legends are extremely anti-women. There is only one truly "good" woman to be featured in the classic tales... all others have all woman to be protrayed either as pure objects (contested over for winning as a prize wife, sent as sexual payment in a temptation morality tale, instigator of a lifelong rivalry between knights although she isn't ever remembered again past the first the spark of competition, etc etc etc) or pure evil (witches, devil's daughters, god's personally cursed and taking it out on all creation, etc etc etc).

Now, if you get outside the classic Victorian tales (which are the first published "Romance" novels), you'll find archtypical war stories of good ole 'Artur' (or his father 'Urtur')... none of which feature anything like Lancelot or Gwenny. Those are purely modern additions to make a book of romance tales to be sold to the literate women of the times.

Merlin the wizard/druid/demon, however, has long been featured in the old tales of Artur. Indeed, some traditional tellings have Merlin being Artur's father. Others have him being the head priest of the Island, and joining and guiding the future warrior king versus all that threatened Merlin's island and followers.

There's are even a few odd lines where Artur (Common Name) is Merlin (Secret/Magic Name). But the academics think that those versions were used as tales of some "pagan" religions to pass on their teachings and practice without becoming fully Christianized. Other variations grouped into this branch (by various Arthurian academics) has Merlin being Artur's personal guardian spirit, but not an actual living mortal. This puts to my mind that each group's tellings of Artur, 'the Great Warlord', added what they believed he'd must have had supporting and working with him to become such.

I know the story! And yes its something I've been interested in at various points over the years, I was just pointing out that the characters conform to the typical archetypes found in all Western Romantic Literature. Guinevere starts off faithful, but then she meets Lancelot obviously, but this just means she is even more Romantic. Probably why the Pre-Raphaelites loved the Arthurian Legends. The reason its survived so long IMHO is its archetypes in fact because it makes the story adaptable for every era and every society.
I agree with your last thing to a point- I think different groups and era's have added their own perspectives to it over time, for instance we have projected an independence and strength onto Guinevere, a mysticism onto Merlin and a sensitivity onto Arthur in the late 20th C.

Funkodrom
23-07-2004, 14:44:40
Originally posted by Angelhorns
that doesnt really make sense though, since Britain was a feudal country at the time you're suggesting this story originated- one story couldnt possibly have been known by or penetrated all the disparate languages, societies and peoples. I think its more likely that a kind of Chinese whispers has taken place over time with different areas integrating stories and myths and archetypes, and probably finishing up with the Victorian Romantic version we still use today.

If it really was a Roman story it's not Feudal is it?

Why can't stories travel a long way by word of mouth? Look at the spread of Christianity at around the same time.

Darkstar
23-07-2004, 18:39:13
Well, I agree that we tend to "modernize" most ancient tales to fit our tastes. ;)

So your favorite part of the Arthurian legends are those centered around Gwen then? So you think a wife cheating on her partner is romantic? Does that make a man cheating on his partner romantic? I'm curious if it's a double standard at play, or if the romantic theme carries over regardless of which side is stepping out.

The Shaker
23-07-2004, 20:44:01
Originally posted by Funkodrom
If it really was a Roman story it's not Feudal is it?

Why can't stories travel a long way by word of mouth? Look at the spread of Christianity at around the same time.

But it wern't solely word of mouth were it?

A global phenomenon then yes....maybe...though if it was all word of mouth why did they have that 'bible' thing with the 'gospels' supposedly written by first -hand eyewitnesses to the events unfolding.

See how much documented eye-witness history of England you can dig up from the 6th century ..particularly concerning 'King arthur'

Don't forget the peoples of that period (assuming he was welsh or gaelic or breton or roman) were conquered and assimilated....it'd be hard over generations for a word of mouth story about a hero who defeated the eventual winners making it anywhere without being horrendouly diluted.

What we've (ok historians and geeks) tried to do has been interpolate backwards from around mallory's romatic version to try and find where it originated. Obviously when people start saying..'ooh look a warrior called arturus or arthirium or even geofrey who won a battle..that's got to be him' I get a bit suspicious. Using that technique you can claim a bloke called Henry ruled England for 400 odd years.

So as far as i'm concerned there might or might not have been a bloke called somethnig like arthur who lived around 6thC and maybe won some stuff and called himself a king (since there were about 500 kings in England at anyone time it seems from that period)

The fact that there is no proof or facts about it is probably one of the reasons it has endured so longas a legend with all the various historical digging done into it over the centuries.
Doesn't help when you get peopel faking stuff to try and gain some glory for themselves (I won't mention the glastonbury monks).

er what was my point?

The Shaker
23-07-2004, 20:45:34
That felt like it took hours to write so i'm dissapointed by the actual length and once more wonder how Darkstar has enought hours in the day to post here.

BigGameHunter
23-07-2004, 21:09:53
OK, I'm bored with this discussion. Let's talk about Paul Bunyan.

The Shaker
23-07-2004, 21:14:00
who?

zmama
23-07-2004, 21:45:54
And Babe the Blue Ox?

The Shaker
23-07-2004, 21:54:41
Lucy the purple cow?

zmama
23-07-2004, 21:56:14
Nah not in Paul Bunyan.

Babe, born the year of the blue snow

Darkstar
23-07-2004, 22:32:05
Originally posted by The Shaker
So as far as i'm concerned there might or might not have been a bloke called somethnig like arthur who lived around 6thC and maybe won some stuff and called himself a king (since there were about 500 kings in England at anyone time it seems from that period)

Bet on that. Heck, you could find stories of warlords uniting most/all of the lands in Japan and China as well. Of a Camelot that then fell down. It's pretty classic tale. And it is also a classic event. Leaders come, leaders go. Some are remembered, and their tales grow and change over time. Heck, we still know about some of the Egytian leaders who did the same thing!

Now, I don't think Artur (or whichever it was) called himself King. That wasn't the word for warlord back then, was it? ;)

And how I do it... er... I don't know. I don't type that fast actually. I think the pixies that live in my computer do most of it for me.

The Shaker
24-07-2004, 10:00:16
Yeah, I got put off by the whole 'Arturus rex' thing.

rephrasing...


So as far as i'm concerned there might or might not have been a bloke called somethnig like arthur who lived around 6thC and maybe won some stuff.

I noticed that "The apparently earliest reference of all to Arthur is in Taliesin's poem Journey to Deganwy, the content of which implies it was composed in 547. He says: as at the battle of Badon with Arthur, chief giver of feasts, with his tall blades red from the battle which all men remember . "

suggests he was a cook ;)

Angelhorns
24-07-2004, 20:28:00
Originally posted by Funkodrom
If it really was a Roman story it's not Feudal is it?

Why can't stories travel a long way by word of mouth? Look at the spread of Christianity at around the same time.

I'd like to see proof it was a Roman story. And that wouldnt explain its Celtic connections.

If it was a story like Robin Hood or Jesus that had started in one area, I tend toward believeing it might have been embellished somewhat, but remained attache dto one area. The fact that everyone in Britain seems to think they are sitting on the site of the original Camelot makes me think the opposite happened. Its a story with no discernable roots, so I think its more likely its just an integration of stories, and that as Britain and communication have grown more unified, so has the story. It also makes sense when you think about all these different places that claim to be Camelot- they probably all had a hero story and gradually all these stories have been swallowed into the legend each adding something of their own.

Angelhorns
24-07-2004, 20:31:32
Originally posted by Darkstar
Well, I agree that we tend to "modernize" most ancient tales to fit our tastes. ;)

So your favorite part of the Arthurian legends are those centered around Gwen then? So you think a wife cheating on her partner is romantic? Does that make a man cheating on his partner romantic? I'm curious if it's a double standard at play, or if the romantic theme carries over regardless of which side is stepping out.

Romantic with a big 'R', you dope. As in the Romantic movement- Byron, Keats, Shelley, Rossetti, Waterhouse, Morris.....that Romantic.

Lazarus and the Gimp
28-07-2004, 19:44:48
The Arthur tales appear to have started in what is now Wales, which meant there would have been no language barriers to the tales spreading (Brythonic wasn't as significantly fractured into dialects as the Saxon ones were. Having said that, the Saxon dialects of Old English are markedly similar to each other in their spoken form).

"Gododdin" by the poet Aneirin contains a fleeting reference to an "Arthur", and was supposedly written around 600AD (about a century after Arthur's death). However the oldest surviving copy of "Gododdin" comes from around 800AD.

Rather damningly, the one contemporary Dark Ages historian given much credit to (Gildas) never mentions Arthur, though he does record the battle of Mons Badonicus. I'm convinced that Arthur never existed- he's a composite of a few real historical characters, primarily Maelgwyn Hir, the king of Gwynnedd.

Lazarus and the Gimp
28-07-2004, 19:49:05
Incidentally, the Bernard Cornwell books are a cracking good read, but completely ignore just about all the accepted history of the times. However the Saxon leaders Aelle and Cerdic, and the Gwent king Tewdrig are the real McCoy.

Venom
28-07-2004, 21:55:25
And there's the answer from the history man. The rest of you can just shut up.

MOBIUS
29-07-2004, 16:53:41
They had a premier here in Cardiff yesterday due to the Wales connection - I will be seeing it tonight in a couple of hours...:)

DevilsH@lo
29-07-2004, 18:46:13
how can it be welsh and yet roman?

I think Laz makes all this history shit up since he knows the rest of us are too fucking lazy to check up. I haven't seen many CV's with Brythonic GCSE on lately :D

Lazarus and the Gimp
29-07-2004, 20:47:28
Quite a few of the more successful English kingdoms over the period 410-500AD were run on Roman lines- it was just preserving the status quo, after all.

MOBIUS
29-07-2004, 21:56:49
As Laz says, why change something that works.

The movie was OK, some great fight scenes and atmosphere but very fragmented and requiring a lot of leaps of faith on the viewers part...

Clive Owen's acting seemed very wooden and I felt that Ray Winstone was the best actor/character by a mile!

7/10 But not because of the storyline!

Funkodrom
02-08-2004, 08:30:01
Clive Owen's shit. I hope they don't make him Bond.

Venom
02-08-2004, 18:42:32
He won't be. All the people in control of the Bond franchise hate Clive Owen.

The Shaker
02-08-2004, 19:15:14
Hopefully it'll be Ray Winstone

Venom
02-08-2004, 22:23:52
What if it was Eric Bana? Because that's what's being worked on supposedly.

BigGameHunter
02-08-2004, 22:36:12
Hugh Jackman. Get him a haircut and he's gold.
That guy can fucking act, man...he's a real actor...something that would be new to the franchise, that's for sure.

King_Ghidra
03-08-2004, 16:25:29
But Bond isn't much of a concept to work with. He's just some unrealistic super hero masquerading as a man. Only the smarmiest and most self-obsessed actors can really pull the Bond concept off - look at lazenby and dalton, crap Bonds because deep down they didn't really think they were god's gift to planet earth.

Venom
03-08-2004, 16:38:54
Probably because Lazenby's Australian. They're all pieces of shit.

I so Love Myself
03-08-2004, 16:47:36
Originally posted by King_Ghidra
But Bond isn't much of a concept to work with. He's just some unrealistic super hero masquerading as a man. Only the smarmiest and most self-obsessed actors can really pull the Bond concept off - look at lazenby and dalton, crap Bonds because deep down they didn't really think they were god's gift to planet earth.

They weren't. I am :love:

Scabrous Birdseed
10-08-2004, 08:37:45
The entire point of Bond is that he's not actually very smart or a good fighter or got any skills or any taste (A *shaken* *vodka* martini? How classless!) and he's thoroughly unprofessional in every way, but that he succeeds anyway because he's charming, lucky and doesn't believe he can fail.