Tag Archives: King Arthur

More Than Just a Breakdown of Wizards: Tales of Arcadia

11 Aug

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Netflix
Available Now

The third chapter to the Tales of Arcadia saga is finally here! Sadly, Wizards is the shortest of the three series. We see our heroes from Trollhunters return and shifts the focus to Douxie (voiced by Colin o’Donoghue). He has big shoes to fill as a wizard-in-training. Merlin is his teacher. The Arcane Order is the big bad in this world, and not everyone can deal with these elemental masters! But they are more than just that. They watched over magic since the stars were young, and one of the members said, “Since man destroyed their palace.”

The first episode functions more like a catch-up reel. The next episode reveals the Arthurian connection and establishes the true villains–Nari of the eternal forest, Skrael of the North Wind and Bellroc, Keeper of the Flame–serving a different purpose. They are guardians who (like in Avatar: Last Airbender) work together to keep a balance between the elements. Strangely missing is air. In this world’s case, they talk about the imbalance between the world of magic and the rise of mankind. The mortals of Earth are fearful of the supernatural and seek to suppress it.

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Nimue is Beguiling but Netflix’s Cursed May be Just That

20 Jul

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Netflix’s Cursed is a curious beast. It’s a retelling of a retelling (based on the novel of the same name by Tom Wheeler and Frank Miller) of the Arthurian legend from the point of view of Nimue (Katherine Langford). In most versions of the legend, she’s an enchantress–the Lady of the Lake–who gives King Arthur the mighty sword, Excalibur. She also wooed Merlin, stole his power and entombed him.

The wizard we see here is nothing like the one portrayed in literature. VikingsGustaf Skarsgård gives this interpretation a I’m without a purpose act. He’s not wise beyond his years and is more of an empty shell when we first meet him. His tale picks up closer to the end, which includes the eventual encounter with this teenage princess, but any idea of a romance is never alluded to.

Much of the tale takes place with Uther Pendragaon (Sebastian Armesto) at the throne. The young Arthur (Devon Terrell) we meet in this version has some African blood in him!

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Hellboy and King Arthur, Who’s the King? A Movie Review

2 May

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

As overstuffed the Hellboy reboot movie is, the King Arthur influenced moments had me excited. Instead of Morgan le Fay as the adversary, Nimue is far worse. She’s the undisputed Queen of the Damned and the film doesn’t take for granted if audiences know the lore behind the literary figure or not.

Had the plot was more in line with Nennius’ The History of the Britons, I’d be all over the film. The other side stories–Darkness Calls, The Wild Hunt, The Storm and the Fury–are interconnected and based on what I can remember, most of the narrative takes place in England. The sequence of events leading up to Hellboy being “cursed” is almost like Sir Thomas Malory‘s work. That is, an ill-fated destiny exists for Red and Camelot will fall.

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Season Three of Trollhunters is Not an End but a New Beginning

29 May

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Sadly, all good Trolls must come to an end. No, the species are not going extinct in the finale of DreamWorks Trollhunters on Netflix but instead, Jim Lake Jr’s rite of passage into manhood is. Minimal spoilers will be revealed as this series has become a definitive hero’s journey for viewers of all ages to appreciate.

Most of the main characters are richly developed and Richard Hamilton’s books (The Way of the Wizard takes place after “For the Glory of Merlin” and Welcome to the Darklands in between seasons and two) fills in the blanks. The mythology takes a few cues from Arthurian tradition and this latest season does a triumphant job at exploring the virtues of what defines the knight. Traditionally, they should be on generosity, courtesy, chastity, chivalry and piety. This animation sees valour, justice and courage just as important.

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