Camelot real steel

Camelot real steel DEFAULT


Arthurian legend character

For other uses, see Lancelot (disambiguation) and Sir Lancelot (disambiguation).

"Lancelot du Lac" redirects here. For the 1974 film, see Lancelot du Lac (film).

Lancelot du Lac (French for Lancelot of the Lake), also written as Launcelot and other variants (such as early German Lanzelet, early French Lanselos, early Welsh Lanslod Lak, Italian Lancillotto, Spanish Lanzarote del Lago, and Welsh Lawnslot y Llyn), is a character in some versions of Arthurian legend, where he is typically depicted as King Arthur's close companion and one of the greatest Knights of the Round Table. In the French-inspired Arthurian chivalric romance tradition, Lancelot is the orphaned son of King Ban of the lost kingdom of Benwick, raised in the fairy realm by the Lady of the Lake. A hero of many battles, quests and tournaments, and famed as a nearly unrivalled swordsman and jouster, Lancelot becomes the lord of the castle Joyous Gard and personal champion of Arthur's wife Queen Guinevere. But when his adulterous affair with Guinevere is discovered, it causes a civil war that is exploited by Mordred to end Arthur's kingdom.

His first appearance as a main character is found in Chrétien de Troyes' poem Lancelot, the Knight of the Cart, written in the 12th century. Later, his character was expanded upon in other works of Arthurian romance, especially the vast Lancelot-Grail prose cycle that presented the now-familiar version of his legend following its retelling in Le Morte d'Arthur. There, Lancelot's and Lady Elaine's son Galahad, devoid of his father's flaws of character, becomes the perfect knight and succeeds in completing the greatest of all quests by achieving the Holy Grail after Lancelot himself fails due to his sins.


Name and origins[edit]

There have been many theories regarding the origins of Lancelot as an Arthurian romance character. In these postulated by Ferdinand Lot and Roger Sherman Loomis, he is related to Llenlleog (Llenlleawc), an Irishman in Culhwch and Olwen (which associates him with the "headland of Gan(i)on"), and the Welsh hero Llwch Llawwynnauc (most likely a version of the euhemerised Irish deity Lugh Lonbemnech, with "Llwch" meaning "Lake" in Welsh), possibly via a now-forgotten epithet such as Lamhcalad,[1] suggesting that they are the same figure. Their similarities beyond the name include wielding a sword and fighting for a cauldron (in Preiddeu Annwn and Culhwch). T. Gwynn Jones claimed links between Lancelot and Eliwlod, a nephew of Arthur in the Welsh legend. Proponents of the Scythian origins of the Arthurian legend have speculated that an early form might have been Alanus-à-Lot, that is "Alan of the Lot River",[2] while those looking for clues in antiquity see elements of Lancelot in the Ancient Greek mythical figures of Askalos and Mopsus (Moxus).[3]

Alfred Anscombe proposed in 1913 that the name "Lancelot" came from Germanic *Wlancloth, with roots in the Old Englishwlenceo (pride) and loða (cloak),[4] in connection with Vinoviloth, the name of a Gothic chief or tribe mentioned in the Getica (6th century).[5] According to more recent scholars, such as Norma Lorre Goodrich, the name, if not just an invention of the 12th-century French poet Chrétien de Troyes, may have been derived from Geoffrey of Monmouth's character Anguselaus, probably a Latinised name of Unguist, the name of a son of the 6th-century Pictish king Forgus; when translated from Geoffrey's Latin into Old French, it would become Anselaus.[6] Other 6th-century figures proposed in modern times as candidates for the prototype of Lancelot include the early French saint Fraimbault de Lassay;[7]Maelgwn, king of Gwynedd;[8] and Llaennog (Llaenauc), father of Gwallog, king of Elmet.[9]

Lancelot may have been the hero of a folk tale that was originally independent but was ultimately absorbed into the Arthurian tradition. The theft of an infant by a water fairy, the appearance of the hero at a tournament on three consecutive days in three different disguises, and the rescue of a queen or princess from an Otherworld prison are all features of a well-known and widespread tale, variants of which are found in numerous examples collected by Theodore Hersart de la Villemarqué in his Barzaz Breiz, by Emmanuel Cosquin in his Contes Lorrains, and by John Francis Campbell in his Tales of the West Highlands. As for his name, "Lancelot" may be a variant of the common name "Lancelin" (as proposed by Gaston Paris in 1881, later supported by Rachel Bromwich).[10] It is also possibly derived from the Old French word L'Ancelot, meaning "Servant" (the hypothesis first put forward by de la Villemarqué in 1842); Lancelot's name is actually written this way in several manuscripts.[6] It is also reminiscent of the uncommon Saxon name Wlanc, meaning "The Proud One".[11]

Early appearances[edit]

Lancelot's name appears third on a list of knights at King Arthur's court in the earliest known work featuring him as a character: Chrétien de Troyes' Erec and Enide (1170). The fact that his name follows Gawain and Erec indicates the presumed importance of the knight at court, even though he did not figure prominently in Chrétien's tale. Lancelot reappears in Chrétien's Cligès, in which he takes a more important role as one of the knights that Cligès must overcome in his quest.[1] It is not until Chrétien's poem Lancelot, the Knight of the Cart (Le Chevalier de la Charrette), however, that Lancelot becomes the protagonist. It is also Chrétien who first gives Lancelot the name Lancelot du Lac (Lancelot of the Lake),[12] which was later picked up by the French authors of the Lancelot-Grail and then by Thomas Malory.[13] Chrétien treats Lancelot as if his audience were already familiar with the character's background, yet most of the characteristics and exploits that are commonly associated with Lancelot today are first mentioned here. The story centers on Lancelot's rescue of Queen Guinevere after she has been abducted by Meliagant. In the words of Matilda Bruckner, "what existed before Chrétien remains uncertain, but there is no doubt that his version became the starting point for all subsequent tales of Lancelot as the knight whose extraordinary prowess is inextricably linked to his love for Arthur's Queen."[14]

Lancelot's passion for Arthur's wife Guinevere is entirely absent from another early work, Lanzelet, a Middle High German epic poem by Ulrich von Zatzikhoven dating from the very end of the 12th century (no earlier than 1194). Ulrich asserts that his poem is a translation of an earlier work from an unspecified "French book" he had obtained (written by a certain Arnaud Daniel), the provenance of which is given and which must have differed markedly in several points from Chrétien's story. In Lanzelet, the abductor of Ginover (Guinevere) is named as King Valerin, whose name, unlike that of Chrétien's Meliagant, does not appear to derive from the Welsh Melwas. Furthermore, Ginover's rescuer is not Lanzelet, who instead ends up finding happiness in marriage with the fairy princess Iblis. Instead, the hero of Ulrich's book is Arthur's nephew, the son of Arthur's sister Queen Clarine. Similar to Chrétien's version, Lanzelet too is raised by a water fairy (here the Queen of the Maidenland), having lost his father King Pant of Genewis to a rebellion.[15] It has been suggested that Lancelot was originally the hero of a story independent of the adulterous love triangle and perhaps very similar to Ulrich's version.[16] If this is true, then the motif of adultery might either have been invented by Chrétien for his Chevalier de la Charrette or have been present in the (now lost) source provided to him by his patroness, Marie de Champagne, a lady well known for her keen interest in matters relating to courtly love.[17]

Evolution of the legend[edit]

Lancelot's character was further developed during the 13th century in the Old French prose romance Vulgate Cycle, where he appears prominently in the later parts, known as the Prose Lancelot (or Lancelot du Lac), the Queste del Saint Graal (The Quest for the Holy Grail), and the Mort Artu (The Death of Arthur). When Chrétien de Troyes wrote at the request of Countess Marie, she was only interested in the romantic relationship between Lancelot and the queen. However, the Lancelot in prose greatly expands the story: he is assigned a family, a descent from lost kingdom, and many further adventures. Gaston Paris argued that the Guinevere-Meleagant episode of the Prose Lancelot is an almost literal adaptation of Chrétien's poem, the courtly love theme of which seemed to be forced on the unwilling Chrétien by Marie,[18] though it can be seen as a considerable amplification. Much of the Prose Lancelot material from the Vulgate Cycle has been later removed in the rewriting known as the Post-Vulgate Cycle, with the surviving parts being reworked and attached to the other parts of this cycle. The forbidden love affair between Lancelot and Guinevere can be seen as a parallel to that of Tristan and Iseult, with Lancelot ultimately being identified with the tragedy of chance and human failing that is responsible for the downfall of the Round Table in the later works continuing Chrétien's story.[19]

The Earthly Paradise (Sir Lancelot at the Chapel of the Holy Grail)by Edward Burne-Jones(1890s)

Lancelot is often tied to the Christian themes within Arthurian legend. Lancelot's quest for Guinevere in Lancelot, the Knight of the Cart is similar to Christ's quest for the human soul.[20] His adventure among the tombs is described in terms that suggest Christ's harrowing of Hell and resurrection; he effortlessly lifts the lid off the sarcophagus, which bears an inscription foretelling his freeing of the captives.[21] Lancelot would later become one of the chief knights associated with the Holy Grail, but Chrétien does not include him at all in his final romance, Perceval, le Conte du Graal (Perceval, or the Story of the Grail), the unfinished story that introduced the motif into medieval literature. Perceval is the sole seeker of the Grail in Chrétien's treatment; Lancelot's involvement in the Grail quest is first recorded in the romance Perlesvaus, written between 1200 and 1210.[22]

The Middle DutchLancelot Compilation (c. 1320) contains seven Arthurian romances, including a new Lancelot one, folded into the three parts of the cycle. This new formulation of a Lancelot romance in the Netherlands indicates the character's widespread popularity even prior to the Lancelot-Grail story.[23] In this story, "Lanceloet en het hert met het witte voet" ("Lancelot and the Hart with the White Foot"), Lancelot fights seven lions to get the white foot from a hart (deer) which will allow him to marry a princess.[24] Near the end of the 15th century, Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur followed the Lancelot-Grail cycle in presenting Lancelot as the best knight, a departure from the preceding English tradition in which Gawain had been the most prominent.[25]

In French prose cycles and Le Morte d'Arthur[edit]

Birth and childhood[edit]

In his backstory, as told in the Vulgate Cycle, Lancelot is born as Galahad (originally written Galaad or Galaaz, not to be confused with his own son of the same name), "in the borderland between Gaul and Brittany" as the son of the Gallo-Roman ruler King Ban of Benwick (Bénoïc, corresponding to the eastern part of Anjou). The kingdom has just fallen to their enemy, King Claudas, and the mortally wounded Ban and his wife Queen Elaine (Élaine, sometimes Elainne or Helainne) flee the destruction of their final stronghold, carrying the infant child with them. As Elaine tends to her dying husband, Lancelot is carried off by a fairy enchantress known as the Lady of the Lake; the surviving Elaine will later become a nun. In an alternate version as retold in the Italian La Tavola Ritonda, Lancelot is born when the late Ban's wife Gostanza delivers him two months early and soon after also dies.

The Lady then raises the child in her magical realm. After three years[26] pass in human world, the child Lancelot grows up and matures much faster than he would naturally do, and it is from this upbringing that he earns the name du Lac – of the Lake. His double-cousins Lionel and Bors the Younger, sons of King Bors of Gaul and Elaine of Benoic's sister Evaine, are first taken by a knight of Claudas and later spirited away to the Lady of the Lake to become Lancelot's junior companions.[27] Lancelot's other notable surviving kinsmen often include Bleoberis de Ganis and Hector de Maris among other and usually more distant relatives. Many of them will also join him at the Round Table, as do all of those mentioned above, as well as some of their sons, such as Elyan the White, and Lancelot's own son, too. In the prose Lancelot, the minor Knights of the Round Table also mentioned as related to Lancelot in one way or another are Aban, Acantan the Agile, Banin, Blamor, Brandinor, Crinides the Black, Danubre the Brave, Gadran, Hebes the Famous, Lelas, Ocursus the Black, Pincados, Tanri, and more (they are different and fewer in Malory). An early part of the Vulgate Lancelot also describes in a great detail what made him (in a translation by Norris J. Lacy) "the most handsome lad in the land", including the explicitively feminine qualities of his hands and neck and the just right amount of musculature. Diverging on Lancelot's personality, the narration then adds the first mention of his berserker-like mental instability (not seen in Chrétien's version):

His eyes were bright and smiling and full of delight as long as he was in a good mood, but when he was angry, they looked just like glowing coals and it seemed that drops of red blood stood out from his cheekbones. He would snort like an angry horse and clench and grind his teeth, and it seemed that the breath coming out of his mouth was all red; then he would shout like a trumpet in battle, and whatever he had his teeth in or was gripping in his hands he would pull to pieces. In short, when he was in a rage, he had no sense or awareness of anything else, and this became apparent on many an occasion.[26]

Arthur and Guinevere[edit]

An illustration for Tales of the Round Table, abridged from Le Morte d'Arthurby Andrew Lang(1908): "Sir Lancelot did not stop, and the archers shot his horse with many arrows, but he jumped from its back and ran past them deeper into the wood."

Initially known only as the nameless White Knight (Blanc Chevalier), clad in silver steel on a white horse,[28] the young Lancelot (claiming to be 18 years old, although it later revealed how he is really only 15[29]) arrives in Arthur's kingdom of Logres with the Lady of the Lake to be knighted by the king at her behest. The Lady gives him a powerful magic ring able to dispel any enchantment (as his anonymous fairy foster mother also does in Chrétien's version; later parts of the Vulgate Lancelot instead retcon this as given to him by Guinevere[30]), among other enchanted items with various abilities (including a lance and a sword, a tent, and a mirror). She and her damsels also continue aiding him in various ways throughout the Vulgate Lancelot. In the Vulgate, the White Knight later takes the name of his grandfather, King Lancelot, upon discovering his identity.[31] In the Post-Vulgate, where Lancelot is no longer the central protagonist, he instead comes to Arthur's court alone and almost defeats the king himself on their first meeting without knowing his identity (Arthur's magic sword, meant to be used only for the sake of the kingdom and justice, may be broken either in this fight or the one against King Pellinore). He eventually is made a member of Arthur's elite Round Table after releasing the king's nephew Gawain from enemy captivity.

Almost immediately upon his arrival, Lancelot and the young Queen Guinevere fall in love through a strange magical connection between them, and one of his adventures in the prose cycles involves saving her from abduction by Arthur's enemy Maleagant. The exact timing and sequence of events vary from one source to another, and some details are found only in certain sources. The Maleagant episode actually marked the end of the original, non-cyclic version of the prose Lancelot, telling of only his childhood and early youth, before the later much longer versions.[32] In Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur, the adulterous relationship is postponed for years, as Lancelot's rescue of the Queen from Meleagant (during which, as Malory wrote, "Sir Launcelot wente to bedde with the Quene and toke no force of his hurte honed, but toke his plesaunce and hys lyknge untyll hit was the dawning of the day" after breaking through the iron bars of her prison chamber with his bare hands[33]) takes place late in the story, following the Grail quest. Nevertheless, just as in Malory's "French book" source, his Lancelot too devotes himself to the service of Guinevere early on in his tale. Expanding on the account from the Alliterative Morte Arthure, Malory also has his Lancelot act as one of the chief leaders in Arthur's Roman War, including personally saving the wounded Bedivere during the final battle against Emperor Lucius.[34] This actually takes place in Malory's Book II, prior to the Book III that relates Lancelot's youth.

Lancelot's initial knight-errant style adventures from the Vulgate Cycle that have been included in Malory's compilation range from proving victorious in a tournament fighting on behalf of King Bagdemagus, through slaying the mighty villain Turquine who had been holding several of Arthur's knights prisoner, to overcoming a damsel's betrayal and defending himself unarmed against her husband Phelot. In the adventures exclusive to the Vulgate Lancelot, his further great deeds include slaying multiple dragons and giants. He also plays a decisive role in the war against the Saxons in Lothian (Scotland), when he again rescues Arthur and Gawain (as he does on different occasions) and forces the Saxon witch-princess Camille to surrender. Lancelot dedicates his deeds to his lady Guinevere, acting in her name as her knight. At one point, he goes mad when he is led to believe that Guinevere doubts his love until he is found and healed by the Lady of the Lake.[35] Another instance of Lancelot temporarily losing his mind occurs during his brief imprisonment by Camille, after which he is cured by the Lady of the Lake as well. The motif of his recurring fits of madness (especially "in presence of sexually charged women"[36]) and suicidal tendencies (usually relating to the false or real news of the death of either Gawain or Galehaut) return often throughout the Vulgate and sometimes in other versions as well. He also may harbor a darker, more violent side that is usually suppressed by the chivalric code but can become easily unleashed during the moments of action.[37] Nevertheless, the Vulgate Lancelot notes that "for all the knights in the world he was the one most unwilling to hurt any lady or maiden."

Lancelot Brings Guenevere to Arthur, an illustration for Andrew Lang's The Book of Romance(1902)

Eventually, Lancelot wins his own castle in Britain, known as Joyous Gard (a former Dolorous Gard), where he learns his real name and heritage. With the help of King Arthur, Lancelot then defeats Claudas (and his allied Romans in the Vulgate) and recovers his father's kingdom. However, he again decides to remain at Camelot with his cousins Bors and Lionel and his illegitimate half-brother Hector de Maris (Ector). Lancelot, incognito as the Black Knight[38] (on another occasion he disguises himself as the Red Knight as well),[38] also plays a decisive role in the war between Arthur and Galehaut (Galahaut). Galahaut is Arthur's enemy and poised to become the victor, but he is taken by Lancelot's amazing battlefield performance and offers him a boon in return for the privilege of one night's company in the bivouac. Lancelot accepts and uses his boon to demand that Galehaut surrender peacefully to Arthur. At first, Lancelot continues to serve Galehaut in his home country of Sorelois, where Guinevere joins him after Lancelot saves her from the bewitched Arthur during the "false Guinevere" episode.[39] After that, Arthur invites Galahaut to join the Round Table. Despite this happy outcome, Galahaut is the one who convinces Guinevere that she may return Lancelot's affection, an action that at least partially results in the fall of Camelot. In the prose Tristan and its adaptations, including the account within the Post-Vulgate Queste, Lancelot harbors the fugitive lovers Tristan and Iseult as they flee from the evil King Mark of Cornwall.

Morgan, Sebile and two other witch-queens find Lancelot sleeping in William Henry Margetson's illustration for Legends of King Arthur and His Knights, abridged from Le Morte d'Arthurby Janet MacDonald Clark (1914)

Lancelot becomes one of the most famous Knights of the Round Table, even attested as the best knight in the world in Malory's own episode of Sir Urry of Hungary, as well as an object of desire by many ladies, beginning with the gigantic Lady of Malehaut when he is her captive early on in the Vulgate Lancelot. Faithful to Queen Guinevere, he refuses the forceful advances of Queen Morgan le Fay, Arthur's enchantress sister. Morgan constantly attempts to seduce Lancelot, whom she at once lustfully loves and hates with the same great intensity. She even kidnaps him repeatedly, once with her coven of fellow magical queens including Sebile. On one occasion (as told in the prose Lancelot), Morgan agrees to let Lancelot go save Gawain if he will return to her immediately afterwards, and then sets him free under the condition that he will not spend any time with either Guinevere or Galehaut for a year. This condition causes Lancelot to go half-mad, and Galehaut to fall sick out of longing for him and eventually to die of anguish after he receives a false rumour of Lancelot's suicide. Another sorceress, named Hellawes, wants him for herself so obsessively that, failing in having him either dead or alive in Malory's chapel perilous episode, she soon herself dies from sorrow. Similarly, Elaine of Astolat (Vulgate's Demoiselle d'Escalot, in modern times better known as "the Lady of Shalott"), also dies of heartbreak due to her unrequited love of Lancelot. On his side, Lancelot falls in a mutual but purely platonic love with an avowed-virgin maiden whom Malory calls Amable (unnamed in the Vulgate).

Galahad and the Grail[edit]

Seduction of Lancelot in the Livre de Lancelot du Lac(c. 1401–1425)

Princess Elaine of Corbenic, daughter of the Fisher King, also falls in love with him; she is more successful than the others. With the help of magic, Lady Elaine tricks Lancelot into believing that she is Guinevere, and he sleeps with her.[40] The ensuing pregnancy results in the birth of his son Galahad, whom Elaine will send off to grow up without a father and who later emerges as the Merlin-prophesied Good Knight. Guinevere learns of the affair and becomes furious when she finds that Elaine has made Lancelot sleep with her by trickery for a second time and in Guinevere's own castle. She blames Lancelot and banishes him from Camelot. Broken by her reaction, Lancelot goes mad again and wanders the wilderness for (either two or five) years. During this time, he is searched for by the remorseful Guinevere and the others. Eventually, he arrives back at Corbenic where he is recognised by Elaine. Lancelot, shown the Holy Grail through a veil, is cured of his madness, and then chooses to live with her on a remote isle where he is known incognito as the Wicked Knight (Chevalier Malfait, the form also used by Malory). After ten years pass, Lancelot is finally found by Perceval and Ector, who have both been sent to look for him by Guinevere.

Upon his return to the court of Camelot, Lancelot takes part in the great Grail quest. The quest is initiated by Lancelot's estranged son, the young teenage Galahad, having prevailed over his father in a duel during his own dramatic arrival at Camelot, among other acts that proved him as the most perfect knight. Following further adventures, during which he experiences defeat and humiliation, Lancelot himself is allowed only a glimpse of the Grail because he is an adulterer and was distracted from faith in God by earthly honours that came through his knightly prowess. Instead, it is his spiritually-pure son who ultimately achieves the Grail. Galahad's also virgin companions, Lancelot's cousin Bors the Younger and Pellinore's son Perceval, then witness his ascension into the Heaven. As noted by George Brown, while "Galahad is the typological descendant of Solomon through Joseph of Arimathea, Lancelot is equivalent to David, the warrior-sinner."[41]

Later years and death[edit]

Lancelot's rescue of Guinevere from the stake in Henry Justice Ford's illustration for Andrew Lang's Tales of the Round Table(1908)

Ultimately, Lancelot's affair with Guinevere is a destructive force, which was glorified and justified in the Vulgate Lancelot but becomes condemned by the time of the Vulgate Queste.[42] After his failure in the Grail quest, Lancelot tries to live a chaste life, angering Guinevere who sends him away, although they soon reconcile and resume their relationship as it had been before Elaine and Galahad. When Maleagant tries to prove Guinevere's infidelity, he is killed by Lancelot in a trial by combat. Lancelot also saves the Queen from an accusation of murder by poison when he fights as her champion against Mador de la Porte upon his timely return in another episode included in Malory's version. (In all, he fights in five out of the eleven such duels taking place throughout the prose Lancelot.[43]) But after the truth is finally revealed to Arthur by Morgan, it leads to the death of three of Gawain's brothers (Agravain, Gaheris and Gareth) when Lancelot with his family and followers arrive to violently save Guinevere from being burned at the stake and slaughter the men sent by Arthur to guard the execution, including those who went unwilling and unarmed (as did Gareth). In Malory's version, Agravain is killed by him earlier, during Lancelot's bloody escape from Camelot, as well as Florent and Lovel, two of Gawain's sons who accompanied Agravain and Mordred in their ambush of Lancelot in Guinevere's chambers. In the Mort Artu, Lancelot's vacated former seat at the Round Table is given to an Irish knight named Elians.

The killing of Arthur's loyal knights including his relatives sets in motion the events leading to the treason by Mordred and the disappearance and apparent death of Arthur. This is introduced in the Vulgate Mort Artu, where it replaces the great Roman War from the chronicle tradition. What first occurs is a war waged against Lancelot's faction by Arthur and the vengeful Gawain; they besiege Lancelot at Joyous Gard for two months and then pursue him with their army into Gaul (France in Malory). The eventual result of this is the betrayal of Arthur by Mordred, the king's bastard son (and formerly one of Lancelot's young followers), who falsely announces Arthur's death to seize the throne for himself. Meanwhile, Gawain challenges Lancelot to a duel twice; each time Lancelot delays because of Gawain's enchantment that makes him grow stronger between morning and noon. He then strikes down Gawain with Galahad's sword but spares his life. However, Gawain's head wound nevertheless proves to be fatal later, when it reopens during the war with Mordred back in Britain. Upon receiving a desperate letter from the dying Gawain offering him forgiveness and asking for his help in the fight against Mordred, Lancelot hurries to return to Britain with his army, only to hear the news of Arthur's death at Salisbury Plain (romance version of the Battle of Camlann).

There are two main variants of Lancelot's demise, both involving him spending his final years removed from society as a hermit monk. In the original from the Vulgate Mort Artu, after mourning his comrades, Lancelot's participation in a victorious war against the young sons of Mordred and their Briton supporters and Saxon allies provides him with partial atonement for his earlier role in the story.[44] Lancelot personally kills the younger of Mordred's sons after chasing him through a forest in the battle at Winchester, but then goes abruptly missing. Abandoning society, Lancelot dies of illness four years later, accompanied only by Hector, Bleoberis, and the former archbishop of Canterbury. It is implied that he wished to be buried beside the king and queen, however, he had made a vow some time before to be buried at Joyous Gard next to Galehaut, so he asks to be buried there to keep his word. In the Post-Vulgate, the burial site and bodies of Lancelot and Galehaut are later destroyed by King Mark when he ravages Arthur's former kingdom.

There is no war with the sons of Mordred in the version included in Le Morte d'Arthur.[21] In it, Guinevere blames all the destruction of the Round Table upon their adulterous relationship, which is the seed of all the dismay that followed, and becomes a nun. She refuses to kiss Lancelot one last time, telling him to return to his lands and that he will never see her face again. Instead, Lancelot declares that if she will take a life of penitence, then so will he.[45] Lancelot retires to a hermitage to seek redemption, with eight of his kin joining him in a monastic life, including Hector. As a monk, he later conducts last rites over Guinevere's body (who had become an abbess). In a dream, he is warned that she is dying and sets out to visit her, but Guinevere prays that she might die before he arrives, which she does. As she had declared, he never saw her face again in life. After the queen's death, Lancelot and his fellow knights escort her body to be interred beside King Arthur. The distraught Lancelot's health then begins to fail (in fact, Le Morte d'Arthur states that even before this time, he had lost a cubit of height due to his fastings and prayers). Lancelot dies six weeks after the death of the queen. His eight companions return to France to take care of the affairs of their lands before, acting on Lancelot's death-bed request, they go on a crusade to the Holy Land and die there fighting the Saracens ("Turks" in Malory[46]).


  • Lancelot, dressed in brown, living with his companions in a hermit hut at the end of his life (Tristan en prose c. 1450–1460)

  • N. C. Wyeth's illustrations from The Boy's King Arthur
  • Facing Turquine: "I am Sir Launcelot du Lake, King Ban's son of Benwick."

  • "Sir Mador's spear broke all to pieces, but his spear held."

  • "[Lancelot] ever ran wild wood from place to place"

  • "Launcelot saw her visage, he wept not greatly, but sighed."

In modern culture[edit]

Lancelot appeared as a character in many Arthurian films and television productions, sometimes even as the protagonistic titular character. He has been played by Robert Taylor in Knights of the Round Table (1953), William Russell in The Adventures of Sir Lancelot (1956–1957), Robert Goulet in Camelot (1960), Cornel Wilde in Sword of Lancelot (1963), Franco Nero in Camelot (1967), Luc Simon in Lancelot du Lac (1974), Nicholas Clay in Excalibur (1981), Richard Gere in First Knight (1995), Sir Loungelot in Blazing Dragons (1996–1998), Jeremy Sheffield in Merlin (1998), Phil Cornwell in King Arthur's Disasters (2005–2006), Thomas Cousseau in Kaamelott (2005–2009), Santiago Cabrera in Merlin (2008–2011), Christopher Tavarez in Avalon High (2010), Sinqua Walls in Once Upon a Time (2012, 2015), Dan Stevens in Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb (2014), and Martin McCreadie in Transformers: The Last Knight (2017), among others.

  • T. H. White's novel The Once and Future King (1958) portrays Lancelot very differently from his usual image in the legend. Here, Lancelot is immensely ugly and introverted, having difficulty dealing with people.
  • Lancelot is played by John Cleese in the Arthurian comedy film Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975). He is portrayed as an awkward knight prone to sudden and uncontrolled outbursts of violence in the section "Sir Lancelot the Brave" that shows his misguided bloody rampage to save a princess who turns out to be a prince and who did not really need to be rescued.[47] He is also a principal character in the follow-up musical Spamalot (2005), played by Hank Azaria. In this version, Lancelot is gay and marries Prince Herbert, who is portrayed by Christian Borle.
  • In Roger Zelazny's short story "The Last Defender of Camelot" (1979), the magically-immortal Lancelot finally dies helping Morgana save the world from the mad Merlin in the 20th century. He is played by Richard Kiley in a 1986 episode of The Twilight Zone based on the story.
  • In Marion Zimmer Bradley's novel The Mists of Avalon (1982), Lancelet is another name of Galahad, and an estranged son of the Lady of the Lake, Viviane. A handsome and great warrior, he is the protagonist Morgaine's cousin and first love interest, himself being bisexual and loving both Gwenhwyfar and Arthur. He is played by Michael Vartan in the novel's film adaptation (2001).
  • Lancelot is a major character in Bernard Cornwell's The Warlord Chronicles trilogy of novels (1995–1997). This version of Lancelot is presented as a self-serving, narcissistic and cowardly prince of the lost kingdom of Benoic, left by him to be destroyed by Frankish barbarians. To seize the throne of Dumnonia, Lancelot conspires against Arthur with Guinevere, incites a Christian rebellion, and defects to the invading Saxons, ending up being hanged by his own half-brother Galahad and by the narrator Derfel (who had lost his daughter to Lancelot's scheming). Lancelot's glowing depictions in legends are explained as merely an influence of the stories invented by the bards hired by his mother.
  • Lancelot is a recurring character in The Squire's Tales series (1998-2010) by Gerald Morris. In some books he is a major character and in others is a secondary character. This version of Lancelot is initially presented as a talented knight, but somewhat pompous and vain. In later books, filled with regret over his affair with Guinevere, he renounces court and is presented as more humble and wise. He leaves court to become a woodcutter, though he is occasionally swept up in quests to help Arthur and other knights.
  • The video game Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings (1999) features Lancelot as a paladin.
  • The 2003 novel Clothar the Frank by Jack Whyte is told from the perspective of Lancelot. It follows his journeys, starting as a young child until his arrival in Camelot and his meeting with Merlyn and Arthur Pendragon.
  • Lancelot is played by Ioan Gruffudd in the non-fantasy film King Arthur (2004), in which he is one of Arthur's warriors. He is mortally wounded when he saves the young Guinevere and slays the Saxon chieftain Cynric during the Battle of Badon Hill.
  • Jason Griffith portrayed him in the video game Sonic and the Black Knight (2009). Lancelot's appearance is based on Shadow the Hedgehog.
  • Lancelot appears in the light novel and its 2011 anime adaptation Fate/Zero as the Servant "Berserker", played by Ryōtarō Okiayu/Kyle Herbert. Lancelot also appears in the mobile game Fate/Grand Order as a Berserker but also as a Saber class Servant.
  • Sophie Cookson's character Roxanne "Roxy" Morton in the film Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014) and its sequel uses the code name Lancelot.
  • Lancelot is the primary antagonist in the first season of The Librarians (2014), portrayed by both Matt Frewer and Jerry O'Connell. He gained immortality sometime after the fall of Camelot through magic and has spent centuries seeking to reverse the events that brought about its destruction. As the mysterious Dulaque (a respelling of his name du Lac), he leads the Serpent Brotherhood, a cult that has long opposed the Library's mission to keep magic out of the hands of humans.
  • In the video game Mobile Legends: Bang Bang (2016), there is a playable character named Lancelot. He is portrayed as the brother of Guinevere and in love with a character named Odette.
  • Giles Kristian's novel Lancelot (2018) is an original telling of the Lancelot story.
  • The immortal Lancelot Du Lac, voiced by Gareth David-Lloyd, is a co-protagonist of Du Lac & Fey: Dance of Death (2019), an adventure video game set in Victorian London.
  • In the illustrated novel Cursed (2019) by Frank Miller and Tom Wheeler Lancelot is a violent Christian fanatic known as "The Weeping Monk". In the Netflix adaptation of Cursed (2020), he is played by Daniel Sharman.
  • Lancelot is the major character in the animated series Wizards: Tales of Arcadia (2020).
  • Lancelot is a major character in the novel Half Sick of Shadows (2021) by Laura Sebastian. In this version, Lancelot is half fay and is raised in Avalon alongside Arthur, Guinevere, and Morgana. He is the love interest of the main character, Elaine of Astolat.


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  5. ^Alfred Anscombe (1913), "Sir Lancelot du Lake and Vinovia", The Celtic Review9(33): 77–80.
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  12. ^William Farina, Chretien de Troyes and the Dawn of Arthurian Romance (2010). Page 13: "Strictly speaking, the name Lancelot du Lac ("Lancelot of the Lake") first appears in Chrétien's Arthurian debut, Erec and Enide (line 1674), as a member of the Roundtable."
  13. ^Elizabeth Archibald, Anthony Stockwell Garfield Edwards, A Companion to Malory (1996). p. 170: "This is the book of my lord Lancelot du Lac in which all his deeds and chivalric conduct are contained and the coming of the Holy Grail and his quest (which was) made and achieved by the good knights, Galahad."
  14. ^Bruckner, Matilda Tomaryn. "Redefining the Center: Verse and Prose Charrette." In A Companion to the Lancelot-Grail Cycle, edited by Carol Dover. Boydell & Brewer 2003, pp. 95–106.
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  25. ^Radulescu, R. (2004). "‘Now I take uppon me the adventures to seke of holy thynges’: Lancelot and the Crisis of Arthurian Knighthood." In B. Wheeler (Ed.), Arthurian Studies in Honour of P.J.C. Field (pp. 285-296). Boydell & Brewer.
  26. ^ abLacy, Norris J. (2010). Lancelot-Grail: Lancelot, pt. I. ISBN .
  27. ^Lacy, Norris J. (Ed.) (1995). Lancelot–Grail: The Old French Arthurian Vulgate and Post-Vulgate in Translation, Volume 3 of 5. New York: Garland.
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 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Lancelot". Encyclopædia Britannica. 16 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 151–52.

External links[edit]

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Youthful, sexy retelling of the Arthurian legends

Leofwine_draca1 September 2011

CAMELOT is the latest fantasy/historical TV series to follow in the wake of PILLARS OF THE EARTH. It attempts to breathe new life into the Arthurian legends, making them fresh and sexy for modern audiences. It's not entirely successful – after poor ratings it was cancelled after the first series – but I found it never less than entertaining, even if it lacks the quality of something like ROME.

For much of the running time, CAMELOT plays out like a decent soap opera. There's adultery, murder, love, deceit, rivalry and betrayal, something for everyone. The cast is mostly populated by youthful, up-and-coming actors with a couple of more seasoned veterans thrown in along the way. Many people criticise Jamie Campbell Bower's Arthur for being a young and sickly-looking weed, but I didn't find him too bad at all and his transformation from mild-mannered country boy at the outset to ruthless and cold-blooded ruler at the end is a convincing one.

Surrounding Bower are a bunch of actors seemingly picked for their beauty, but it's fair to say they're pretty good actors too (American Philip Winchester, for instance, delivers a pitch-perfect performance as the loyal Leontes). Bald-headed Joseph Fiennes bags the role of Merlin, and he plays it with a sinister suaveness that doesn't disappoint. The arresting Eva Green stars as Morgan, the villain of the piece, and she shrieks, hisses and plots with the best of them; it's fair to say that Fiennes and Green steal every scene they're in.

Along the way we get some decent cameos (James Purefoy is particularly good as the larger-than-life Lot, while grizzled veterans Sean Pertwee, Liam Cunningham and Daragh O'Malley also appear) and some bloodshed and nudity that push this series firmly into the realm of a fairytale for adults. Historical realism is nowhere to be found but the show looks good, with decent money spend on the costumes. One thing it doesn't do very well is action, with one late-stage battle that looks extremely pathetic – literally half a dozen extras milling around a field. Never mind: CAMELOT works best when it focuses on the likes of Morgan's scheming, an ill-fated love triangle and good, old-fashioned escapism. I liked it, and I'm sorry it won't be coming back.

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The Beginning of a New Series Based on Camelot

gradyharp3 April 2011

Sturdy as the tale of Camelot is and despite both cinematic versions as well as the now famous musical based on the story, television has now taken on the tale and the results as seen by a solitary episode appear to be entertaining as well as a darker and more earthbound version of the dream kingdom of Camelot. As is usually the case with miniseries the writers vary from episode to episode (Michael Hirst, Thomas Malory, Louise Fox, Steve Lightfoot and Chris Chibnall) as well as the directors (Mikael Salomon, Ciaran Donnelly, Jeremy Podeswa, and Stefan Schwartz), but the cast remains the same and the overall feeling of the series is one that is seductively dark and has a real sense of a mixture of history and legend.

So far we have met King Uther as he dies passing on the crown to the King's unknown son Arthur (Jamie Campbell Bower), heretofore known as a commoner. Arthur's half sister Morgan (a sinister and beautiful Eva Green) is put in place as Arthur's nemesis, Arthur's journey to kingship is nurtured by Merlin (Joseph Fiennes), and weaving in and out of the opening episode are Queen Igraine (Claire Forlani) and the glowing Guinevere (Tamsin Egerton). Thus far the story is focused on a tough battle ahead for the charming young Arthur against the evil vixen Morgan. It seems to be developing well, but time will reveal whether it will be a worthy successor to the many other versions of the story. So far it is worth watching: the setting is gorgeous!

Grady Harp

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A missed opportunity

filipemanuelneto20 November 2017

This series was made following many series and films that flooded the cinema and the TV with medieval themes. Despite their merits, it is impossible for all of them to conquer the audience, and this explains the failure of this series, where the heap of irritating situations and errors led the public to move away. To begin with, the series took the legends of King Arthur (well known) and altered them substantially to increase the dramatic effects and create a slightly different story, perhaps too unlikely to be "swallowed" by the public. Camelot is a ruined place, a castle from late Middle Ages, far from Roman military architecture. Religious problems surrounding pagans and christians are summed up in the most trivial insignificance, Avalon isn't even mentioned, Viviane is a maid and Morgana is a heartless villain, whose power and magic have a dark origin that's never properly explained. Arthur's knights are a bunch of unpleasant men, extras with half a dozen lines. Arthur himself is a beardless egocentric teenager who hardly has our sympathy and Merlin represses his powers for no reason. Lancelot is nowhere to be seen.

The way the script and characters were designed was a problem but it works if you decide to forget about the Arthurian legends you've learned. However, the cast can be a problem as well. Joseph Fiennes could have been better in the role of Arthur as he wasn't convincing as Merlin and Jamie Campbell Bower was wooden in that role. Tamsin Egerton was a decent Guinevere but with little things to do... when she wasn't distress about her forbidden feelings she was just a body for the male audience to be glaring at. On the other hand, we have Eva Green. She is the only actress who truly shone, completely dominating the screen for lack of any actor capable to match her. The single bad thing about her was the abusive exploitation of her nakedness. There are also several problems concerning historical accuracy. The events occurs in the first centuries after the fall of the Roman Empire and the truth is that there are moments where we didn't know what age is that. Sex scenes are as hedonistic as in our own time, a lot of objects that would be expensive and luxurious at the time (like feminine adornments) are used even by peasants. Oh, and the end is absurdly open due to the sudden end of the series, cancelled due to it's own failure.

To summarize: this series is far from matching everything I would expect and is far from faithfulness to the original story or the period portrayed. The cast is weak (Eva Green is the single exception), the characters are uninteresting, the ending is lousy and open. However, it still allows for a few hours of entertainment if you're able to ignore these problems.

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Too simple to become interesting

unbrokenmetal8 October 2016

'Camelot' was not bad, at least I managed to sit through all 10 episodes. However, I wouldn't say it was a series with potential. The cliffhanger ending indicates clearly that a season 2 was planned, but never made. 'Camelot' obviously did not succeed, arguably due to a lack of understanding why 'Game of Thrones' was successful at the same time. The comparison seems inevitable because the outline of both reads similar: a struggle for power after the old king was murdered, bastard children, different religions and magic at work in a barbarian age with new wars breaking out every Wednesday. 'Camelot' even clumsily attempted to add a few sex scenes to be more like HBO productions, I guess. But the recipe for success is not about the sex and violence.

'Camelot' has a very simple structure of good king vs his evil sister and their respective allies. Merlin (Joseph Fiennes) is the most interesting character because he has at least a dark side when he steals the sword for his king from a girl's cold dead hands. But Arthur (Jamie Campbell Bower) remains imbecile throughout the series, often doing something stupid to appear reckless, but mostly appearing... well, blond. Guinevere (Tamsin Egerton) is so sweet your teeth hurt. Morgan (Eva Green) and Igraine (Claire Forlani) are played by very good actresses, but they are limited with these characters. 'Game of Thrones' didn't have the dividing line between good and evil characters. A murderer could become a good guy, a dwarf a hero or a good king a fanatic butcher, you never knew which directions they would take, and all characters were capable to do good AND evil things. 'Camelot' holds little surprise though, follows a predictable path and remains a cartoon image without depth. Voted 5/10.

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Angelus214 May 2011

Warning: Spoilers

This is a different story of how Arthur came to be King. It is a tale of a young boy who finds out that he has the greatest destiny of all, to lead his country into a new age.

I prefer this version were we get to see how certain myths may have come about, 'Lady in the Lake, Sword in the stone' and I have to say the darker elements to the story make it quite enticing, especially this psychotic looking Merlin. All in all the story needs a little work, it needs to be a little more exciting and thrilling, but the cast do a wonderful job nonetheless...except for the actor who plays Arthur, he is not very convincing as the great King Arthur.

Anyway, a bit more action and excitement and we can make a 'Good' show into a 'Great' show!

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One of the worst TV series I've ever watched.

silvermistvio10 May 2019

Camelot is one of those TV series I stopped watching after an episode or two. I normally don't stop watching a film, but if it's terrible, I stop immediately. So, I think you can all guess how bad this one is.

The Camelot I know is about the king Arthur and Merlin story. So, I considered that it's kind of another story of Arthur and Merlin. When I watched the first episode, I found it quite boring and the plot was not that good. It's bad as there's no thing interesting. The speed is so slow and thus, it becomes boring. After watching 10 minutes, I stopped watching.

I don't know about the others. But as for me, this TV series is so terrible and not worth to watch. So, if you value your time and money, avoid this kind of films.

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Out-of-focus Camelot

LCShackley3 January 2012

Michael Hirst, fresh from his success with THE TUDORS, tries the same formula (beautiful sets & costumes, good cast, lots of skin) with the Arthurian legend. It's too bad that he and Chibnall wasted ten episodes on what is essentially a prequel to the story that most people know; Starz has canceled the series and we'll never get to see the completed Round Table, the story of Lancelot, or even the wedding of Arthur and Guinivere.

The production values are high, and the CGI-enhanced Irish scenery is almost always breathtaking. Unfortunately, King Arthur is a casting disaster, which leaves a giant hole at the center of the story. Merlin, who is usually pictured as a Gandalf-type figure, is here reduced to little more than a political spin doctor. Joseph Fiennes does a good job, but it gets boring after a while to watch a magician who refuses to do anything magical. There are some good battle scenes, but the Morgan vs. Arthur story gets tiresome as it drags on and on. (It's basically a reworking of the David vs. Absalom story from the Old Testament, with sorcery thrown in.) I wish the producers had devoted more time to the legend as it is usually told, rather than seeing how they can re-work it in their own post-modern manner.

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Truly Dire

YohjiArmstrong7 July 2011

Warning: Spoilers

Plot: Blah blah blah King Arthur blah dreadful soap opera blah pseudo- historical rubbish.

King Arthur is the most enduring British myth and the only positive that can be taken from this truly dreadful series is that the myth will survive it and go on to better things. Camelot is a perfect example of how not to make a King Arthur TV series. Arthur and his knights are all played by effeminate looking metrosexuals without an ounce of charisma or testosterone between them (but with plenty of whining). The women all look like they've come from an MTV reality TV show. Guinevere and Arthur both have such long blonde hair that in the (laughable) sex scenes it is difficult to tell them apart. It is set in some pseudo-historical period which means that everyone wears the sort of boring pseudo-medieval clothes worn in every dreadful fantasy film since the 1980s. The script is supposed to be a mix of adventure, intrigue and relationships but it comes off as a bad soap opera instead. The saving graces are James Purefoy (rough, tough, helluva lot of fun) and Eva Green (beautiful) but even they can't save this turkey. Ignore this and read the High Medieval knight errant stories instead.

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A new look at the classic tale with some great and not so great additions.

David_del_Real_Reviews_in_IMDb30 September 2017

Warning: Spoilers


Camelot gives some interesting turns to the classical story we have all known from childhood. Some of these turns , depending on the person, can be good or bad, but as a general commentary I want to say this series is completely worth-watching.

In this review that is placed at the level of the general series, I want to give you my general feeling about the series. For more specific comments, please take a look at my reviews for specific episodes.

With a "less than perfect" Merlin and a "very less than perfect" Arthur they found a formula for an interesting refresh of the old Arthurian legend. They also showed us the most evil, astute and mischievous Morgan that we have seen in a long, long time; a great villain.

Nevertheless, in my opinion the series started becoming less interesting when the imperfections of Merlin and Arthur seemed so big that they did not seem similar at all to the incredibly high standard that we normally have of them.

In essence, I would say it is definitely a series worth watching but be prepared if the first episodes make you very enthusiastic and the following chapters don't pay to your enthusiasm properly.

Now, in my very personal opinion, I think that they had a chance at the mere beginning of making a very epic series but they only accomplished to give us a more or less interesting variation of a very epic classic story. I give them, nevertheless, a nine out of ten stars because of trying, because I believe that brave new versions most be highly encouraged, even when they don't pay enough; as in classic tales...bravery must be supported!!!

Thanks for reading.

IMDb review by David del Real Ciudad de México, México. September, 2017.

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Schlock. Mildly entertaining schlock.

tpaladino17 August 2011

Warning: Spoilers

I don't really write reviews for TV shows, because there's always the possibility that they'll improve (or get worse), but I'll make an exception for Camelot because if it gets more than one or two seasons I'll be shocked.

I'll start off with the good; it's fairly entertaining (at least at first). The scenery is decent and the actors are generally high quality (with the glaring exception of Arthur himself). Its always interesting to see a new twist on the Arthur legend, and the first couple of episodes seemed fairly promising.

Now the bad, which is a lot.

Apparently in this world, Camelot consists of like five guys with swords, with no real power or even an idea of how to run a kingdom. Like, where do they get their food? And yet Arthur is the 'true king of the Britons' somehow. The people 'flock to him', and yet at no point do they raise an actual army, or do very much to consolidate their power. Arthur's sister is more powerful than he is, but that just means that she has like a dozen guys instead of five. No army there either. Its jarringly silly.

Arthur himself is a textbook example of horrible casting. I mean, this guy is beyond bad. A problem which is made all the more apparent in comparison to his able supporting cast, including the wonderful Claire Forlani and Joseph Feinnes. I just don't understand why they put this ridiculous 'actor' in the lead.

As for the plot... well, it starts off with some potential, but quickly deteriorates into a predictable, dumbed down, paint-by-numbers bedtime story, better suited to a middle school drama club than a major cable network's original programming. It's really that bad. The story is as thin as a sheet of paper. Every opportunity to add depth or dimension is squandered with a big, loud speech by one of the main characters, explaining in jumbo crayon their exact intentions for the audience. It's supremely insulting, and extremely frustrating. There is no allowance for speculation or imagination on the part of the audience, and as such there is no tension and zero payoff.

The pacing is also awful, moving things along at turbo speed and glazing over every single detail that deserved exploration and every character motivation that needed backstory. The result is characters that seem universally hollow and situations that you simply don't care about.

One of the primary issues is that the program is clearly working from a limited budget, but that's really no excuse. There are creative ways to get around a limited budget. You don't need to hire ten thousand extras to portray an army, but you also can't just pretend they don't exist and hope the audience doesn't notice a problem (or are too stupid to realize that a kingdom can't be ruled and policed entirely by five people). You don't need to build a feudal village with peasants and farmers and all the other things that keep a kingdom going, but you can't just ignore the logistics of what daily life would have been like for these people, to the point that its just never even mentioned.

There were a hundred ways to do this show better. Literally. So much potential, even with its limited budget. The fact that this was the result is shameful.

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Well... If not for Eva...

jelencesb15 November 2020

I think the choice of the actors should have been better, cause except for Eva Green and few other female and malee strong characters... All of the other cast was just weak! Especially the one to play Arthur.... I mean you wanna tell humongous historical/mythical story - you have to be careful. In that regard I d say that Merlin, although less serious take on Arthurian legend, was far better than Camelot. I mean who s gonna trust skirt chasing, very spoiled and highly actually mysoginistic Arthur? I wouldnt!.... If it was not for again Eva Green who gave gravity to this show, it wouldnt have been worth watching! No wonder there was only 1 season... Which saddened me only coz I truly wanted to see Eva's further take on Morgan.

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***For Camelot!!!!!*****

Jinn16 April 2012

Warning: Spoilers

***Save Camelot!!!*** *The* best show of Arthurian times I have ever seen and I'm not just saying that 'cuz Jamie Campbell Bower is awesome :) He's the reason I heard about the show from a Twilight list I'm on and was very interested to see it, at first mainly because of Jamie however I *adored* the show for its own sake. Gutsy, powerful and realistic. I felt for the characters and their plights.

Morgan was so much more than 2D as she has been portrayed in other Arthurian tales and that awful nun who made my skin crawl - (played so well by the way) portrayed wonderfully (albeit sadly) the church's sickening corruption and power-play of the dark ages.

Camelot was also feisty, funny, witty, modern, yet conveying an ancient, well-known tale. It was upbeat, cool, full-bodied (and not just for the sex scenes ;) The actors were all brilliant. I also adored Eva Green's 'wounded child' Morgan. The play between Leontes, Guenevere and Arthur was painful to watch (because it was played so well) though you knew it could only end in disaster. And Joseph Fiennes played the one of the coolest, gutsiest and realistic Merlins I have ever seen. I knew Jamie would be awesome and he was, playing the most heartfelt, gutsy, realistic and funny Arthur ever. Not to mention cutest ;) And I am looking very much forward to seeing him in other roles as well. Including a hopeful 2nd (and beyond) series of Camelot. His portrayal of Arthur proves how diverse he is, Arthur's loyal and caring, while his Twilight character Caius is caustic, stoic and hateful and Jamie plays him awesomely too. I wonder is Caius had a sword in the 5th century? ;) I guess the only thing that bummed me about the series was when Guenevere stood up for herself and said "I would rather die with a sword in my hand than waiting to be raped" and in the battle scene, she's attacked and screaming and has to be rescued, rather than being much more heroic like Éowyn from Lord of the Rings.

It upset me to hear of the series cancellation, seems the 'muggles' don't know what's good for them. I hope the series will get a reprise and not go the very sad way of the "Golden Compass" sequels, of which I am still having onto a shred of hope for. I guess I am so passionate about Camelot as I feel drawn to Arthurian times, I feel they are part of me. One of my prized possessions is a solid 4 ft Excalibur replica.

Perhaps that will convince the studio to continue with this amazing series? ;) ****For Camelot!!!****

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And through the field the road runs by to many-towered Camelot. -Tennyson

zaenkney6 March 2011

"Camelot" is literally a feast for the eyes, complete with multi-layers of cosmopolitan benefactions. There is also the absolutely breathtaking countryside cinematography, as well as an occasional glimpse of a dalliance unveiled, exposed, and vulnerable in more than one sense and all in context, of course. Moreover, as far as action, drama, plot structure and pacing is concerned, "Camelot" certainly works. I was interested, drawn in and found it very hard to leave my position on the couch for any reason, until it was over.

With his shaved head, expressive eyes and mercurial intensity, Joseph Fiennes is arguably the finest Merlin I have witnessed in my #$ years on this earth. The persona seems to possess him, or, possibly he has possessed it. Eva Green, as Morgan is simply begirded in the essence and romanticism of that which currently attracts young people to the Goth lifestyle. She is beautiful and mesmerizing in her character. I am a fan of James Purefoy, and as usual, this man can be anybody he wishes. He is a bad boy and carries it very well in "Camelot." Claire Forlani is exquisite and gives us Queen Igraine with a surprising core strength, rather than the pretty little one who must merely be saved. Jamie Campbell Bower, as Arthur, and Peter Mooney, as Kay, are delightful as two young cubs at play who must grow into great men of responsibility.

Between the two creators, Michael Hirst and Chris Chibnall, "Elizabeth", "Tudor", "Spooks", and/or "Torchwood" is firmly tucked under one or the other's belt. I find this impressive! I so look forward to watching the rest of this season knowing their combined genius will guide my viewing experience.

All things considered: the huge body of talent and accomplishment involved, this program being "Camelot" - the story of all stories - now being done on a quality series, along with the fact that we can easily access it on a couple of venues, I find myself looking forward to one, of a very few, exciting shows on the tele this year. Believe me, it's definitely worth your precious time to watch!

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a RPG game would have a better story than this

davish_wulf-123 June 2011

Warning: Spoilers

I'm a fan of everything ancient, specially in middle ages and there are "rules" you just don't cross.. and if you do, at least cross them with some logic and sense of reality.

This contains spoilers, so stop if you don't want details on the argument.

Vaguely based on "Le Mort d'Arthur" novel i give this series 3 stars based on the following qualities: beginning credits are beautiful & so is the soundtrack, photography and scenery is simply wonderful, the performance of some of the actors.

Qualities behind, lets start peeling what i think is wrong here.

The story looks written by a 12 year old, with no sense of reality, history or logic. It's simply that bad.

I could point hundreds of RPG games with a better story behind them... better yet, i swear the author of this novel is either a RPG fan or a person completely out of reality of the time and legend of king Arthur and time period.

Vampires drink blood.. and that's a fact. You can mix up the story millions of times in movies, but that's a constant feature.

Camelot is in ruins, Merlin arrives from nowhere to fetch this spineless boy and make him a king.

This fragile Arthur wannabe (Jamie Campbell Bower) lacks 2 main qualities, charisma and personality. He's just playing the part of a innocent child who got to the throne... give a lollipop to the kid and he's happy.

Sometimes i get the feeling this "flower" of a king is just playing a theater piece. No presence at all, sometimes even reminding me of a Jesus in medieval clothing with all his morals out of nowhere, for any reason.

Is this the kind of king that ruled England at the time? The legendary Arthur who kicked the "barbarians" out of the country and united a fragmented nation??? With what, Lego pieces?

What throne is this? What england is this that its boundaries are limited to a hundred miles around Camelot? What castle is this that is in ruins, defended by a few hundred men? Kingdom of what? Nothing. In reality terms, any army of 50 men would take this "castle" if well armed and well informed.

Now for the romance... Guinevere is here.. and she appears for the first time on a BEACH. That's right... out of nowhere, with no reason at all, there she is, just like a Baywatch TV episode.

As a matter of fact, everyone seems to appear out of nowhere for no reason at all. Excalibur is named after a girl... and made out of steel in a real forge by her father.

There are some good actors here and performances, but they are so limited by the script that its difficult not to notice the illogical and ridiculous plot behind all this.

Eva Green leads the show here. She has the best role and performance and is perfect for Morgana. She has the looks and all the dark aura needed for the part, simply the best thing this series has.

Joseph Fiennes... now that's one of the most odd choices i ever saw to portrait Merlin. He also has a great performance.. but sadly not the looks for it.

Fiennes has a rogue type figure. The bald-head, the unshaved face, his eyes.... he would make the perfect assassin... but no, he's Merlin here and simply one of the most out-of-place actors i ever saw in a movie.... and guess what... he's afraid of using his magic, but kills some people on the way, pursued by regrets and regrets... what a sad sad panda this Merlin is.

You have the usual sex scenes we were used to in the Tudors, gorgeous women, gorgeous photography and wardrobes, great use of light.

I waited to see the first 8 episodes before writing this, in hopes of seeing the script becoming better, but sometimes its so damn ridiculous that i just stand there laughing in disbelief.

Here, lets make a fight scene in a castle.. but wait, all you see from the castle is the mini-courtyard.

Wait... lets take the castle (with no door) by force and outnumber them with our men... but no, we just remove our troops with threatening looks.. when we could take the whole country right there, right NOW!!! Send me a letter if you want a better script for this. Its not that hard to make a clever one, based on history and legend, fact or fiction, but with at least some logic to glue all the pieces together.

I will keep watching the series to see how it develops, but compared to the Tudors, this is a complete joke. We are not confined in the palaces of London anymore, this is a whole England portrayed in a ridiculous manner.

It's like watching a samurai movie without samurais, you just see a Japanese sword hanging here or there to justify the title.

Arthur drawing a sword from a waterfall??? The lady of the lake is a sunken girl who fled from Merlin to her death? Excalibur was a woman? Brink the starship troopers, commander Kirk & some pizza into the mix, as long as you have Camelot written in the doorway, everything goes.

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An unworthy addition to the Arthur legend pantheon

gkmcc20 September 2021

I watched Episodes 1 - 4, then put Discs 1 and 2 (unwatched) in the mail back to Netflix and cancelled Disc 3. While there's always room for creative license when interpreting the Arthur legend, the screenwriter(s) for this series just went too far, in my opinion.

Despite some interesting nods to history with mentions of the Roman occupation of Britain, they went overboard with some of their other changes. They totally rewrote the "sword in the stone" narrative, turning it into an unrealistic quest; flipped the classic Arthur-Lancelot-Guinevere love triangle on its head, portraying Arthur as a combination of lovesick puppy and selfish, entitled monarch; and worst of all, totally mangled the Excalibur story (I won't go into details because it would involve spoilers, but trust me-they really screwed it up.)

Plenty of gratuitous nudity, and a bout of acrobatic lovemaking between Morgan Le Fay (Eva Green) and King Lot (James Purefoy) which presages Eva Green's performance in 2014's "300: Rise of an Empire" provide some visual thrills, but it's not enough to carry the shortcomings in story and characters.

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Producers Did Not Do Their Homework

b_clerkin15 April 2011

Warning: Spoilers

I was just writing about the Borgias and noted that the period detail is exquisite and to the best of my knowledge fairly accurate, and the acting and photography excellent.

Would that I could say that about this Camelot - which I will watch anyway, since I am unable to resist anything to do with the Arthurian legend, no matter how awful (yes, Sean Connery, that means you in the egregious "First Knight"). The story takes great liberties with legend and with historical fact, dressing players in costumes that vary from medieval to Saxon to the odd Roman cape, with a Celtic torc or two thrown on for good measure. The producers seem to think that by dressing people in drab ragged clothes, with the aristocrats given fur and gilt and velvet to distinguish their rags from those of the peasants, and having everyone with unkempt hair and dirt smudged faces, they are giving accurate portraits of England in the middle ages (they did this in the recent "Robin Hood"). One major goof was to claim that Camelot was an old Roman fort - if you believe that the Roman style of architecture bore a remarkable resemblance to that of the early Normans some five or six centuries later (another era heard from!). It contains a Throne that must have been left over from "The Lion in Winter", which took place just before the era of Robin Hood, or perhaps they bought it when the Hogwarts props from the Harry Potter movies were sold. If you want to do Arthur based on Malory, and with the trappings of medieval times, knights, armor, tourneys, etc - fine. If you want to reflect the actual time when Arther supposedly lived, also fine, but choose one and stick with it. For the latter, you need those torcs, along with some Roman robes, soft boots (not hard leather ones), fairly modern tack for the horses- saddles at the time were mere blankets and perhaps a leather cloth, with simple bridles and if there were stirrups, they were of leather, perhaps wood, but most certainly not any metal, though for safety reasons, one can make allowances on the latter. The clothing shown is drab and reflective of Saxon gowns of the tenth century or so, and both men and women would have worn tribal plaids to reflect the bright colors worn by the tribes of Britons who lived under the rule of the Roman Empire. the men would have worn colorful trews, not leather pants, though they might have had some form of primitive chaps. As for the unkempt and dirty condition of the people, well, both these cultures were VERY keen on cleanliness - they did not wallow in filth and bathed regularly - aristocrats as much as daily, My favorite appalling bungle is that they have their priests decked out like those during Tudor times - even though Christianity consisted of a few gangs of truly poor monks who set up modest monasteries near old holy places of the Celtic gods. The list of errors is legion - they use fairly modern wedding rites and religious songs and customs that did not exist until centuries later, the idea that an itinerant warrior having a small book of Marcus Aurelius before about 1000 is ludicrous - the Romans would have brought scrolls so the warrior might have read Aurelius, but no way would this volume exist. Books at the time were very rare, handwritten by monks, large and so expensive that only the very rich and powerful had more than one in his possession. The writers and producers must have taken their inspiration from some Twitter version of the legend, adapted by a half-educated video game junkie who read a few paragraphs in Wikipedia,then decided to add soft porn and slo-mo battles based on "300".

Such sloppy disregard for history and legend COULD be excused IF the story and acting are compelling enough (see the equally naked and gory "Spartacus" also on Starz) but aside from James Purefoy, who rages through with vulgar abandon, but who lasts only a short while, the pickings are slim. Eva Green who vies with Jill St John and Denise Richards as Worst Bond Girl Ever stalks around like a scalded cat with bipolar disorder and Elizabeth Taylor's makeup from "Cleopatra" overacting every scene regardless of content. Joseph Fiennes, playing Merlin as Jean Luc Picard with a sore throat (what is with these hoarse whispering characters? Do they think that if they speak lame lines sotto voce that people will think them mysterious and rife with import?) but is appealing and can improve. The rest disappear into insipid generic gorgeousness - kind of like any episode of 90210. only naked, with swords and British accents. The Sci-Fi kiddie show "Merlin" is far better,even though it also makes Morgan the daughter of Uther, and not Ygraine, which is not only how the legend goes, but which fuels the fire of her hatred of Arthur (Uther done their mama wrong) but is the source of her magic - Ygraine was a Celt, Uther a Roman,

But like I said, I will be watching this in its entirety - though I expect it will wind up having that car wreck fascination.

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Nice try, but just doesn't cut the mustard

psychoameise9 March 2013

Warning: Spoilers

I'm a total sucker for arthurian mythology and an even worse sucker for historical movies, so I was sure I was going to like this. But I didn't. Struggled through three and a half episodes and then gave up in frustration. So this review is based on those and therefore incomplete, maybe something thoroughly amazing happened later on and I missed it, but I somehow doubt that very much.

I happen to know my way around the many tales of Arthur and his knights very well, so I'm aware that there are almost as many versions as there are authors. I believe I'm able to judge whether the scriptwriters did their job properly and they just haven't. Not only do they appear to have read none of the many stories that exist, but they just haven't bothered with a plot at all. The story is a very weak sauce, a fight over a throne and who's shagging who... booooooring. There is no noticeable relation to any arthurian story, but they've added stuff that definitely wasn't in any of them. Like Guenevere marrying Leontes. Why, it just makes no kind of sense, except to add some cheap drama...

Also the acting isn't up to much. Joseph Fiennes is usually so good but his Merlin (which I loved to start off with, I thought the younger, harder, faster version of the wizard would be great) is crap. For one thing he sounds as if he has bitten his tongue or had a stroke. I don't know if he's trying to put on some kind of accent and failing, but his pronunciation is weird. Also, he's not a wizard. Or he is a wizard but "chooses" not to use magic. When he said this I thought to myself "Too cheap for CGI, were we?" In the end, he just stands around waffling about destiny but other than that doing nothing at all...

And everything, absolutely everything about Arthur is wrong. Jamie Bower looks and acts like he was plucked from your common or garden boy band of the 90s. And even if Arthur's character has been made rather more likable and chivalrous over the years than he was in the early stories, he never was what he is here: An absolute tit. A spoiled, intensely selfish, whiny teenager who only thinks with his penis...

Eva Green's Morgan I liked, but she overdoes it a bit. However, compared to the other characters she does superbly well.

Also, there's the historical inaccuracies. The middle ages were a rough and tumble time but women did not run around with next to nothing on. Also, there is a scene where Morgan wanders through her hall at lunchtime (some people are eating and it's light outside) and there's two people sitting around on each other who are having sex in plain sight. That would NEVER have happened. I also doubt that a well brought up virgin like Guenevere would just boink around the way she does here. There is tons of gratuitous nudity and sex. Not that I'm a prude, but IMO using tits and sex to sell your product is a cheap ruse.

However, sets, cinematography and soundtrack work for me... but that doesn't save this mess. All in all, I have better things to do than watch a load of unlikeable characters do boring things...

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So far, not very impressive

DietCoke136 April 2011

Warning: Spoilers

I've watched the first two episodes of this series and must say that I'm not very impressed. However, my opinion is forever biased against any portrayal of this story because of the excellent and thoroughly enjoyable 1981 movie "Excalibur". There are simply just too many flaws with this current series. The actor portraying Arthur is poorly cast. Will this series explain how Excalibur got thrust into the ground in the first place? And, why in the world is Merlin running through the countryside after Morgan poisons Uther? He's a sorcerer. He actually has to "run" to try and save him? Anyway, like I said, I am forever spoiled by the much more interesting Excalibur. Maybe the upcoming episodes will be better than the first two.

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Derivative drivel

paul_bibby5 June 2011

This gets 4 stars simply because there are a number of notable cameo performances from a variety of top draw actors as well as charismatic performances from Joseph Fiennes and Eva Green. As for the rest of the cast one can only describe many performances as wooden as the forests in which Britons of the Dark Ages inhabited. Most obvious miscast character is that of Arthur, who not only doesn't look the part but acts as unkingly as is humanly possible, which to be fair is more a consequence of the lamentable screenplays as it is a measure of his inability to pull off a convincing performance.

And this brings me to the script. God forbid the producers of this execrable pile of horse droppings might have deigned it worthwhile to peruse the various medieval writings, or even contemporary re-workings, of the Arthurian Legend for suitable source material but how on earth could they imagine that seemingly making it up as they go along would in any way convince the viewers that the tale is in anyway believable or inspiring.

I have read a few excellent contemporary novels set in the Dark Ages, the best of which is most definitely Bernard Cornwell's Warlord Chronicles series, so it isn't true that there is nothing new to say about Arthur et al. It is a continual disappointment that there are still producers out there who think throwing in a few breasts and pretty faces is all it needs to make a winning production. It does not. We know it so why don't the producers? It takes the sort of source material that is winning fans of Game of Thrones, which though not without it's flaws has a great story, great scripts and great believable performances.

Sadly another missed opportunity.

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"Camelot" is worthwhile your attention

ivo-ivan20 November 2011

I registered just now so I can write a review for Camelot;I have seen 3 episodes so far.

It's true that Game of Thrones and Rome are more impressive. But Camelot really deserves your attention if you want to see a series about the medieval times.

Some aspects of the character acting could be better. But the story is interesting and there are some archetypal oppositions/scenarios that resonate with me.

Arthur is pictured as an authentic man who wants to contribute to the good of others. His half sister depicts his opposite - somebody who is driven by personal desires and is ready to do everything to achieve her goal. I very much like how this contrast is depicted.

I find the story line interesting and unpredictable. There are some very strong moments that impressed me- I will not go into details here as I don't wish to ruin your fun :).

Just give it a try and see for yourself - isn't that the wisest thing to do?

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Good but King Arthur is a kid

joewhalen79 March 2020

The actor playing King Arthur is too young for the part. He appears as a little more than a teen-aged parody. Philip Winchester is a hunk. There is no reality in believing that Guinevere would ever give him up for a kid, even if he is the king. They should have found someone more mature and somewhat more of a hunk to play the lead.

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An Interesting watch

mtjohnson-1854924 November 2018

Warning: Spoilers

I found this series to be entertaining and well acted. Contrary to other viewers, I think Arthur is perfectly cast. The Author in this series just discovered he was heir to the throne and is not the accomplished swordsman from other shows he is growing in to his true role as King. It isn't the Game of Thrones but then again, what show is? It is a good watch and something to get in to with Game of Thrones on hiatus.

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The Collapse of CAMELOT

ajepisode131 October 2015

The success of a film or TV series depends not on the storyline but by the actors who have to bring it to life on the screen. As an example, not all Shakespeare-based films have been successful. With CAMELOT, the majority of the cast were either sturdy in their delivery or near-excellent. EVA GREEN is magnificent in her role as the sorceress/evil half-sister. She epitomizes evil and with her excellent acting skills, she practically carries the show. Joseph FIENNES adopted a new approach to the role of Merlin, and it is an acceptable ploy. I enjoyed his depiction of the magician. TAMSIN EGERTON is a tall and willowy Guinevere but she succeeded with what little she was given. CLAIRE FORLANI is very good in her role, both beautiful and involved. The lady has tremendous performance skills and I hope we see more of her. And then we come to the lead role of Arthur. In the history of casting, I cannot think of a worse choice for such a relevant and vital part. Jamie Bower is weak, unattractive and totally lacking in authority as is required. I could not accept or believe in him. For me, he simply spoiled the entire series. Such a shame because the series and its style had so much potential.

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Could they have destroyed the story line any more?

katykw-216 April 2011

The only reason I gave it one star was for the costuming and the cinematography. The only thing the makers of this travesty stayed true to was the NAMES of the characters. Merlin doesn't seem to be a wizard through most of the first 3 parts - he's scared to use his powers because he can't control his dark side, and he's always getting the snot beat out of him. Arthur looks like he'd be more at ease in a skateboarding competition than in armor. Dude! Guinevere marries someone no one ever heard of in the Arthurian legends- Leontes (who was a character in Shakespeare's "A Winter's Tale") and Arthur acts a spoiled brat because he can't have her. Morgan is the only one who acts even close to the legends as an evil sorceress obsessed with power. Excalibur is not the sword in the stone after all, but Merlin has to have it made for Arthur. Come on!! Why didn't you just tell your brand new story, change the names to protect the revered stories, and play merry hell in the time-honored Hollywood tradition.

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"Your time is better spent elsewhere"

skfla50015 July 2011

Warning: Spoilers

I was very surprised to find this on Netflix streaming video. You don't usually see a series on streaming so soon after its release. Naively, I didn't realize why it got there so quickly. So I watched the first couple episodes. Pathetic attempt. That probably best describes this series. I was able to get thru 2 episodes only because it starts out fairly well. Interesting, a little dark, etc. And of course, there's Eva Greene. What guy doesn't want to see her as often as possible? But then young Arthur comes into play. And he whines. And he's emotionally tore. And he makes demands. You feel like he's always on the verge of either a temper tantrum or peeing his pants. Very uninteresting. From there on out, I couldn't enjoy the show. Whenever Arthur came on screen I kept thinking MTV Teen Birthday Diva's or Bridezilla's or some such thing. I watched the rest of the 1st show and part of the 2nd simply because of a fairly promising start prior to Jamie Bower coming on screen. That and the fact that I didn't have any new book to read right then. But that was it. Mind you, I didn't read any IMDb reviews until after I stopped watching, so my opinion was not influenced by the huge number of other viewers who write pretty much the same thing about Jamie Bower. He's "miscast", "ruins the show', "always whining", etc., etc. Anyway, he ruined the show for me.

So my opinion? The show is a waste of time. Even if its really, really late at night. Even if you're old enough to drink and you LOVE Eva Greene or one of the other actors. EVEN if you love Jamie Bower. If you do want to watch, WATEVA U DO-DON'T BUY THE DVD'S!!! EVEN IF THEY'RE REALLY, REALLY CHEAP! Rent one at blockbuster or netflix first. Then make up your mind about buying...

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Real Steel World Robot Boxing

Join Atom, Zeus, Noisy Boy, and many more of your favorite Robots in the battle for supremacy of the Real Steel universe. This exciting action-fighting Robot Boxing and Brawler brings the heroic storytelling and spectacular action from over 100 years of Robot Fighting on to your mobile device! Top the Leaderboards, claim the Championship title and reign supreme as the Ultimate World Robot Boxing Champion. Win big in Versus Leagues & Global Tournaments.

Achieve greatness in the future of boxing, where gigantic robots pack powerful punches. Unleash your fighting style with Deadly jabs, Uppercuts & Special moves to win world championship belts, collect trophies & knockout friends!

Towering over 9 feet tall and weighing over 2000 pounds are your 58 ultimate fighting machines, robot titans & legends including fan favorite superstars – Zeus, Atom, Noisy boy & Twin Cities.

Unleash your true self in live local Wi-Fi & Bluetooth multiplayer and earn bragging rights while enjoying the winning moment!

Play Career, Multiplayer, and the new Winner Take All Mode to become the All-Category Champion.

Build a roster of your favorite sport robots and take on the Legends in enthralling arenas and stadiums.

Challenge your friends, and battle in global events
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This game is completely free to download and play. However, some game power-ups can be purchased with real money within the game. You can restrict in-app purchases in your store’s settings.

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Real steel camelot

Vital statistics
Bot TypeMighty Glacier

Name: Camelot

Title/Nickname: Unknown, "Realm Protector (as Royal Camelot)"

Generation: 3

Bot Type: Mighty Glacier

Status: Online


Camelot is a powerful bot from Real Steel World Robot Boxing game. He is the second competitor in the WRB I next to Noisy Boy and does not appear in the movie.

Camelot card.jpeg



Special: 41


Armor: 100/100 total battle ranking 1/ 9 999

Power: 9/10

Speed: 10/10


Origin: UK

Weight: 2012 lbs

Height: 8'5''

Special Feature: Dreadnaught Mainframe

Signature Move: Excalibur Strike

                        Super Excalibur Strike (Fatboy)

                    Ultra Excalibur Strike (Blockbuster)

Announcer's Quote: "Stepping out of myth and legend, all kneel before...Camelot!" 


Camelot is named after a famous legend in England, the kingdom of Camelot. He is a bot from the game Real Steel World Robot Boxing. He is a WRB I bot after Noisy Boy. His fists are long which means that you need an opportunity to get close to this bot in order to beat and defeat him.


Camelot's head looks like he is wearing a mixture of a crown and Atoms face, he is almost completely white in color and his fists are really long. His fists are probably useful when fighting( longer reach).


  • Although he cannot be obtained in the iOS game, a variation of him exists, called Royal Camelot. Under the nickname of Realm Protector, he can be unlocked when you buy Bio War, Fiend, Crimson Carnage, Asura and Shogun.
  • In Real Steel WRB, the Announcer Quote stops abruptly around "Ca-"
CAMELOT EVOLUTION - Real Steel Boxing - Android Gameplay HD

Twice Told Tales for Teens

Retellings are not a new trend. From Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine to Pride by Ibi Zoboi, YA authors have mined, and continue to draw on, the Western canon for inspiration. What is noteworthy about several recent and forthcoming releases this season is how their authors are intentionally subverting their source texts through the lenses of gender, race, and sexuality.

“There are so many so-called classics that have been held up for generations as this standard of excellence—but why?” asks Emily Settle, associate editor at Feiwel and Friends and editor of the imprint’s new Remixed Classics series. The series’ first book, A Clash of Steel by C.B. Lee, leans on the legend of Chinese pirate queen Ching Shih to reimagine Robinson Crusoe’s Treasure Island; the second, So Many Beginnings by Bethany C. Morrow, stars four Black girls coming of age during the Civil War, a nod to Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women. And the third Remixed Classicstitle, Travelers Along the Way by Aminah Mae Safi (Mar. 2022), is a Robin Hood–inspired adventure set in the Holy Land during the Third Crusade; here, the merry band of misfits use cunning and thievery to foil a usurper queen and restore peace.

“These classics are widely thought to accurately depict real history, but that’s simply not true,” Settle says. “It’s even more harmful to teach it as such to young people. What do these new books bring to the original texts? If anything, a much needed, long overdue reality check!”

Settle hopes the series serves as a “Trojan horse” of sorts: “We’re looking to both provide engaging reads as an alternative to these classics,” she notes, “and also to challenge the notion of what ‘classic’ even means.”

PW spoke with YA editors and authors of new and forthcoming fresh takes on well-known literary novels, fairy tales, theater, and even films, on the enduring appeal of updating old stories. “The goal of a lot of these remixes, retellings, and reimaginings—and certainly of our series—is decentering whiteness, decentering heteronormativity,” Settle says. “That’s really important work.”

Everything is canon

Western literature, often the backbone of U.S. high school English courses, gets a remake this season. Within These Wicked Walls by Lauren Blackwood (Wednesday, Oct.) is an Ethiopian-inspired fantasy retelling of Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre. “I wanted to do my best to nod to the very important scenes in the original text but also make it my own,” Blackwood says. Her Jamaican American upbringing also allows her to look at the text through a postcolonial lens. “A person of color being this crazy woman up in the attic and villain of the whole thing—it’s not about that anymore. The Black characters are the heroes. I chose Ethiopia as my inspiration not just because of the folklore, but also because the country was never colonized.”

Hers is a romantic novel, Blackwood says, but one that asks readers “not to hold the original so dear to your heart as you read, because it’s going to be different. It’s a haunted house book, and it’s a lot of fun.”

Epically Earnest by Molly Horan (HMH, June 2022) winks at its inspiration, Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest. An LGBTQ romantic comedy of manners in the vein of Wilde’s play, the novel features Jane Grady, who is searching for her biological family while navigating an all-consuming crush.

The Witch Owl Parliament by David Bowles (Tu, Oct.), a graphic novel deemed “ultracool” in its PW review, sets Frankenstein in colonial Mexico, centering Mexican mythology and Indigenous cultural references. The book is also a genre mash-up—steampunk, fantasy, and an alternate history—and the first in a series set in this world.

Sayantani DasGupta’s YA debut, Debating Darcy (Scholastic, Feb. 2022), transposes Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen to the high-stakes world of high school debate. “The thing that draws me to Austen is her humor and her ability to be witty and dry and poke at social conventions and do social critique,” DasGupta says. “An important part of writing Debating Darcy was to tap into the humor and the wit and the love of words that Austen has.”

DasGupta explicitly addresses questions of representation and reimagining European and American literature in her text. “It’s a little meta because the characters themselves have this conversation,” she says. “Leela [the protagonist] thinks to herself, ‘If I was back in the day of some of those stories, I would be serving the white characters. I would be the maid. I would be the scullery person, I wouldn’t be the fancy lady dancing.’ And then she asks herself, ‘Why do we need other cultures’ fanciness? Why do we need other cultures’ concepts of fanciness when we have our own?’ I’m trying to think through Leela, what does it mean to be a Brown girl enamored with these sorts of stories? How do you include yourself? Are we making space for ourselves and letting history off the hook by doing so? Can both of those ideas exist simultaneously? I wanted to problematize it without having an answer, because I think the answer is really complicated.”

The book also includes a #MeToo moment, because DasGupta believes that rereading (and rewriting) canonical texts is a dynamic process, especially for marginalized creators. “The reading experience is not just the text,” she says. “It’s the space created between the text and the reader. That space has to be filled in by the reader’s life and the reader’s perspective. When you do a retelling, you’re entering that liminal space and creating a new shape—making new bridges between that original text and your own life experience.”

Several authors have taken another look at Shakespeare, who is also ever-present on school syllabi.

Romeo and Juliet meets Chinese mythology in An Arrow to the Moon by Emily X.R. Pan (Little, Brown, Apr. 2022). Here, the star-crossed pair, Hunter Yee and Luna Chang, are reincarnations of Chinese gods—Houyi, an archer, and Chang’e, the moon goddess. Chloe Gong also riffs on Romeo and Juliet in Our Violent Ends (McElderry, Nov.), the sequel to These Violent Delights. Gong’s take is set in 1927 Shanghai, a city on the brink of revolution.

Samantha Cohoe’s fantasy Bright Ruined Things (Wednesday, Feb. 2022) is a spin on The Tempest. Like the play, the book features a magical island and is about belonging. Cohoe’s take is set in the 1920s and sets up a series of magical mysteries that only Mae, the protagonist, can unravel.

Waking Romeo by Kathryn Barker (Flatiron, Jan. 2022) is a genre-bending, time-traveling twist on Shakespeare set in postapocalyptic London. “It’s not just Romeo and Juliet, but also Wuthering Heights,” Barker says. “The stories are completely entwined in an alternate universe. In school, these works were depicted as epic love stories, and I bought into that as a girl. But when I went back to them as an adult, I realized they were terrible and unhealthy ideals about love.” Barker hopes her book serves as a counterexample, particularly in terms of inclusivity, race, and gender, “not just in the way women are depicted, but also the way teenage love is depicted.”

Barker considers her work in conversation with her source texts. “Writers are realizing that classic works are a rich vein to tap into,” she explains. “If you want to comment on race or gender or issues of social justice that are relevant to teens, what better way to do so than to have it set off against something that we understand as a frame of reference? Retellings are interesting because they are a barometer of where society is at and is moving.”

Return to Camelot

Centuries-old Arthurian legends continue to inspire modern creators. Recently, director David Lowery cast Dev Patel as Gawain, King Arthur’s nephew, in his film The Green Knight, bringing renewed interest to this world of English and Welsh folklore. Robyn Schneider’s The Other Merlin (Viking, out now) puts a rom-com spin on Camelot. In the book, Emry Merlin, a bisexual teen wizard masquerading as her brother, falls in love with Prince Arthur, toys with Lord Gawain, and annoys Princess Guinevere.

The Color of Dragons by R.A. Salvatore (HarperTeen, Oct.) is a pre-Arthurian story about the origins of Merlin—and magic itself. The book draws on lesser-known dragon lore as well as the legends of the Round Table, and spins a romance between Maggie, who can’t yet control her gift of magic, and Griffin, infamous for hunting dragonlike beasts on behalf of the king. “The book’s second half is breathless, blood-soaked, and brutal,” PW’s review said.

The Excalibur Curse by Kiersten White (Delacorte, Dec.) is the third book in the Camelot Rising trilogy, which centers on Guinevere and her reimagined genesis. “We consider it a feminist spin on the world of Arthur and Arthurian legend,” says Wendy Loggia, v-p and senior executive editor at Delacorte and the book’s editor. “Having this character be the driver and be someone who has agency in what happens to her—that hasn’t always been the case with legends of the past. Kiersten loves seeking out stories that we might know, but taking those classic characters and twisting them into a version of a story that’s uniquely her own.”

Tale as old as time

Fairy tales are getting a makeover, too. In Briarheart (Little, Brown, out now), Mercedes Lackey offers a fresh, feminist retelling of “Sleeping Beauty” in her story of sisterly love, rather than romantic love. Cyla Panin also refashions “Beauty and the Beast” into a story about siblings in Stalking Shadows (Amulet, out now).

Rebecca Kim Wells queers her source text in Briar Girls (S&S, Nov.). In this adaptation of “Sleeping Beauty,” Lena, who is cursed, and Miranda, who is on a quest to wake a sleeping princess in order to liberate her city from its tyrannical ruler, join forces and wits on a journey of adventure and self-discovery. “Wells’s straightforward handling of bisexual Lena’s sex-positive attitude is a breath of fresh air,” PW’s review said.

Marissa Meyer combines horror and “Rumpelstiltskin” in Gilded (Feiwel and Friends, Nov.), the first in a duology. In it, the cursed miller’s daughter teams up with a ghost to thwart the evil king.

Young women are often at the center of these stories, including in two forthcoming Putnam titles, says Jen Klonsky, president and publisher of Putnam Books for Young Readers and Razorbill Books: The Bone Spindle by Leslie Vedder (Jan. 2022) and Cinder & Glass by Melissa de la Cruz (Apr. 2022). “We’re calling The Bone Spindle ‘Sleeping Beauty’ meets ‘Lara Croft: Tomb Raider,’ ” she explains. “It’s this very female-forward story. Briar Rose is a prince under a sleeping spell and Fi is smart, brave, a bit snarky—and she has to save the prince. Fi also has an adventuring partner who is gay. These two women have scenes in which they are escaping by the seat of their pants and helping each other through things. And the stakes are high. Too often, those kinds of scenes had been reserved for men and boys.”

Cinder & Glass, a retelling of “Cinderella” set in the royal court of Versailles, serves as a commentary on class and gender. “It doesn’t have the ending of the ‘Cinderella’ tale that I grew up knowing,” Klonsky says. “In some retellings, and certainly in the Disney version, Cinderella is kind to the point of naivete. In Mel’s story, Cendrillon is her own person and has all the hallmarks of an authentic young woman. She is not afraid to call out someone for bad behavior. She finds a way to be true to who she is and what she wants without being cruel to others. And that stands in stark contrast to other characters in the story, which I think is true to the source. It reads like the fairy tale we know, but also has a healthy dose of feminism.”

Fairy tales are often a go-to for gatekeepers, such as parents, teachers, and librarians, Klonsky adds. “They’re sort of imprinted on our DNA,” she adds, “and it’s really exciting to revisit them through the lens of coming of age and young adulthood, because adolescence is filled with scary and out-of-control moments and so are fairy tales.”


Works for the stage and screen also provide scaffolding for new YA novels.

Jennieke Cohen draws on George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion and its well-known adaptation, My Fair Lady. Set in 1830s England, in an alternate-historical London, My Fine Fellow (HarperTeen, Jan. 2022) brings together Helena Higgins, posh and top of her class at culinary school; half-Filipina Penelope Pickering, who is trying to prove the worth of non-European cuisines to all of England; and Elijah Little, a Jewish boy who hawks his pastries on the streets. Helena and Penelope attempt to transform Elijah from a street vendor to a gentleman chef.

“I wanted to switch the genders because Pygmalion is very much a product of its time, and I wanted to deal with some modern issues on top of the issues that were already there,” Cohen says. “I wanted to deal with anti-Semitism and feminism because those are things that are cropping up again—or that never go away. These are things I’ve dealt with in my own life, and a lot of young people still do.”

Cohen’s reimagining is as accurate to the historical period as possible; an author’s note is clear about what actually happened and what is fiction. “If you’re reading historical fiction, it’s always nice to know what the author has fabricated vs. what is true,” she says. She hopes that readers are inspired to research the era further. “I hope that they get a sense of joy out of it and escapism, because it’s a rags-to-riches story set in a different time period, but also that they get a different perspective of what life might’ve been like at that time for Jewish people and mixed-race people.”

Emma Lord also flips genders in When You Get the Chance (Wednesday, Jan. 2022), inspired by the musical Mamma Mia! and subsequent Meryl Streep/Amanda Seyfried film. In the book, aspiring Broadway star Millie Price stumbles upon her father’s emo LiveJournal from 2003, which launches her on a search for her birth mother, who is one of three women: Steph, a talent agency receptionist; Farrah, a dance teacher; or Beth, a stage enthusiast.

David Valdes’s teen daughter, a fan of the Netflix series Stranger Things and all things 1980s, prompted him to reimagine the 1985 hit Back to the Future for a new generation. In Spin Me Right Round (Bloomsbury, Nov.), Luis Gonzalez, a gay, Cuban American teen, travels back in time to his parents’ era to save a closeted classmate’s life. “Luis is a kid who thinks everything is about him, until traveling to the past makes him stretch and grow in terms of his own sense of self,” Valdes says. “His own story becomes impacted and affected by other people and their choices and this idea of being community, of watching out for each other, of what makes your life possible.”

Valdes says he is not retelling but reclaiming. “A good story lives and grows over time,” he explains. “When the people retelling the stories are different and the people populating the stories are different, it gives them new value. It brings them back to life. And it doesn’t require you to reject the old. I didn’t stop loving Back to the Future because I didn’t see myself in it. Now, since I seized the wheel, literally steering the narrative, I get to find my place in it.”

A version of this article appeared in the 10/18/2021 issue of Publishers Weekly under the headline: Twice-Told Tales

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Gossamer gateway to Avalon: Tintagel Castle bridge unites magic and history

A slender carpet of slate hangs above a rocky ravine on the north coast of Cornwall, where azure waters lap at the entrance to Merlin’s Cave. It looks like the wizard has been up to his old tricks, conjuring a gossamer-thin bridge that effortlessly spans the chasm, reconnecting the mainland to the ancient ruins of Tintagel Castle for the first time in centuries.

The modern-day Merlins take the form of Laurent Ney, a Belgian architect and engineer, and William Matthews, lead designer under Renzo Piano of the Shard skyscraper in London. The pair teamed up to summon this £5m footbridge into being for English Heritage. “We had no magic spells to help us,” says Ney, whose firm has built around 100 bridges across the world, but none in such a challenging location. “It was the first time in my life that I had to design a bridge in a site that was totally inaccessible – and which was expected to disappear into the landscape.”

The rugged promontory provided the perfect place for the Cornish kings to build their fortified stronghold in the fifth and sixth centuries, when the headland was connected by a narrow isthmus that has since crumbled into the sea. The end-of-the-earth feeling also helped to fuel all the legends that have swirled around the site since the middle ages, when it was named as the place of King Arthur’s conception, prompting Richard Earl of Cornwall to build his castle there in the 13th century. This made it a tricky place to bring 50 tonnes of steel and 40,000 slate tiles – all of which had to be delivered by helicopter in five-tonne prefabricated chunks and assembled by a crane on a cable stretching right across the gulch.

The result is a miraculously slight structure, with polished steel balustrades and diagonal braces that, from a distance, make it shimmer like a spider’s web in the dew. As you get closer, it reveals itself to be two separate structures, each cantilevered out from the cliffs – like a pair of opposing diving boards, not quite meeting in the middle. The gap, say the architects, represents “the transition between present and the past, the known and the unknown, reality and legend” – to be experienced as visitors cross from the mainland to the mysterious ruins.

In truth, it was a practical necessity, in order to avoid excessive forces meeting at the centre of the double-arched structure, but it makes for a poetic sight. Daredevils hoping for a risky leap across the ravine will be disappointed, though: the gap is only 4cm wide and the two decks are actually connected by steel cables at either side, somewhat destroying the illusion.

There has been a need for a bridge here for a long time. Ever since the 12th-century chronicler Geoffrey of Monmouth spun his seductive Arthurian tales, Tintagel has been inundated with visitors seeking a taste of the magic. Accessibility has never been its strong point. The original land bridge to the island was so slight, wrote Geoffrey, that “three men shall be able to defend against the whole power of the kingdom”. When the poet John Leland visited in 1540, he observed that the only way on to the island was “by longe elme trees layde for a bryge”, while a 1604 map labels “a draw bridge decaid” and shows a man in a red tunic struggling to scale the “verie steepe and craggie” cliffs.

He was lucky there was no one with a buggy and screaming toddlers trying to come down in the other direction. As one of English Heritage’s top five attractions, Tintagel Castle sees almost 250,000 visitors a year, with up to 3,000 people a day at the height of summer. Before the new bridge, the only way to the ruins was via steep staircases cut into the cliffs, connected by a small wooden bridge at the bottom.

“It was always a nightmare getting people on and off the island,” says Georgia Butters, English Heritage’s head of historic properties in Cornwall. At peak times, there were waits of up to 45 minutes at either side, with school groups and pensioners regularly stranded on the protected promontory with no loos in sight. She says around a third of visitors to the small village of Tintagel didn’t even bother visiting the castle, put off by the long queues and 148 steps.

Now, with timed tickets in hand, tourists will be able to flow across the bridge’s elegant 70 metre deck of local slate tiles, which have been packed together on their sides without mortar, creating the effect of walking across a box of After Eight mints. There is a slight rattle as you traverse this mineral mat, and a subtle bounce created by fellow walkers, both of which add a frisson to crossing the 2.5-metre-wide deck 60 metres above the sea. There are nice details – thin slices of quartz embedded in the slate as well as raw oak handrails – giving it a hand-crafted quality in tune with the historic setting, and making it unlike most modern technocratic footbridges.

The polished steel balustrade can look a bit too bling as it glints in the sun, and the arrival of this shiny new structure hasn’t been to everyone’s liking. To some, it smacks of the “Disneyfication” of the site in the hands of English Heritage, which has been accused of turning the location into a “cash cow theme park” by campaign group Kernow Matters To Us (Kernow is Cornish for Cornwall). Hackles were raised in 2016 when an 8ft high bronze statue of a cloaked figure with a sword was unveiled on the island, shortly after a relief of Merlin’s face was sculpted into the cliffs below – an unthinkable act in the eyes of some critics, akin to carving the face of a druid into Stonehenge.

“The bridge is just the latest English Heritage vanity project,” says Cornish archaeologist and historian Craig Weatherhill. “It continues the cheap and nasty theme park approach, ruining the ambience of the site.” Weatherhill and his fellow campaigners think the focus on Arthurian legend is a distraction from the real history of Tintagel, the seat of the kings of Dumnonia, a powerful empire that stretched across Cornwall and Devon from the 5th to the 7th centuries. The number of amphora fragments found at the site, indicating vast quantities of wine and olive oil brought from across the Mediterranean, far exceeds the number found at sites across the rest of Britain combined, while excavations suggest Tintagel was larger than London in the same period. “What really rankles Cornish people,” adds Weatherhill, “is the fact they’re marketing the site as ‘English’ Heritage, when the English have had nothing to do with it.”

Butters defends the accusations of commercialisation, which have been more vocally levelled at English Heritage since it became an independent charity in 2014 and forced to cover its own costs (the bridge was part-funded by a £2.5m donation from Tetra Pak billionaires Hans and Julia Rausing). A family ticket to Tintagel now costs £33.80, while the gift shop sells a Sword in the Stone letter-opener for £40 and a model of the Knights of the Round Table for £120.

“We need to make money to look after our heritage,” says Butters. “And it’s very important that we’re not snobbish and elitist about it. We must spark the interest of the next generation in these sites, because if people don’t care about them, they won’t be preserved.”

You could argue that there has been a slightly tacky side to Tintagel ever since Tennyson fuelled the Arthurian hype with his Idylls of the King, and the railway arrived at nearby Camelford, spawning such heady visions as the Victorian pile of the Camelot Castle Hotel and the 1930s fantasy of King Arthur’s Great Halls. Amid the surrounding jamboree of legends, the sleek new bridge is a carefully judged arrival.


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