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Tuesday, 20 May 2014

The Magic of the Arthurian Legend


The Magic of the Arthurian Legend
You'll find this statement at the opening of my blog:
Do you think because you haven't seen any dragons that there is no such thing as dragons or magic? Please visit my blog where we talk of fairies, elves, legends, mythologies, magic, enchantment, and, yes, dragons – and more! Welcome! I am so happy to see you!

Today I wanted to deal with a legend, one of the most famous and enduring of all legends: the Arthurian Legend. I had heard of it and was familiar with pieces of it but I have never read any of it, nor do I truly know its roots or its basis in history. Today I was searching for material dealing with King Arthur, Merlin, and dragons, all living together. What I expected was a magical tale of heroics and loyalty, of sorcery and skullduggery, of romance and dragons. I found something quite different.

I started as many do by going to Google with a search string that read: “Arthur Merlin dragon.” I received about 2,750,000 results in 35 milliseconds. That's a lot faster than I could generate them at the library using a card catalog and note pad!

The first page of results had references to King Arthur in television and YouTube videos as well as leads to the blogs of gamers who using a medieval theme but nothing concrete on the ancient legend of King Arthur.

Several links later I came upon this one:

www.arthurian-legend.com/more-about/more-about-arthur-10.php

This link will take you to what I believe is an authoritative website created and maintained by one Patrick Taylor who has copyrighted all of his material. I could lift some for this article but not only would that not be right, it wouldn't do justice to the elegantly simple summary of a huge volume of work that is on Taylor's site.

What I found there is that the basis for the Arthurian Legend goes back at least to the 5th Century C.E., Wales and Scotland. There are many kings, nobles, and tribes mentioned, including Constantine, the Picts, and a certain king, one Uther Pendragon. I feel rather certain that it is from his surname, Pendragon, that an involvement between Arthur, (Uther's son) and a dragon, has entered our consciousness.

So far we have the elements of a historical recitation lacking in romance, intrigue, and magic. Then Merlin, known in early tales as Myrddin, is introduced, but he does not have any connection with Arthur – yet.

Taylor's summary notes that Merlin appears in both Welsh and Scottish tales of roughly the same period, as Myrddin and Lailoken, respectively. He is not a wizard, but rather a wild man living in the highlands who has a gift of prophecy. But Merlin does not meet Arthur. He first meets his father, Uther Pendragon, during the building of Uther's castle, and here is where the magic and romance of the Arthurian Legend – and the appearance of a dragon - begins, in my opinion.

At this point you might feel somewhat disappointed with what I have found about the legend of King Arthur, Merlin, and dragons, all existing together. It seems to be a bland reading of historical facts much like you learned in primary school, but it's not. There is one thing that only you can add to them and that is the spirit of romance, of knights and ladies, magic spells and sorcerer's wonders, of a good king and his betrayal, and of a wonderful place that exists in your heart, a place you might call, for the sake of this legend, Camelot. The magic lives on and grows stronger with every telling of the legend.

I hope that you find this article useful. Please do visit the website I noted above. I think you will find it helpful in your understanding and retelling of the legends of Arthur, Merlin, and their relationship with dragons.


Shhhhhh. Don't tell anyone, I believe there was a dragon ()

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