Thinking About Avalon

In my trek through Lawhead’s Pendragon stories I have made it to book three, “Arthur”. My plan is to do as the author suggests and read parts one and two and then skip ahead to the book “Pendragon”, then “Grail”, then to part three (about the fall of Arthur), and then finally to the follow-up book “Avalon”. But reading the reviews for “Avalon” got me thinking…

“Avalon” is, by far, the worst reviewed book in the Pendragon series, and it’s easy to see why. King Arthur is to return during the hour of Britain’s greatest need…and so he comes back when a political dispute seems as if it’s about to end the figurehead monarchy of Britain. He has to fight great villains, like the anti-Christian Jihadist terrorists white supremacist politicians with pitbulls. And then, when he finally, after overcoming great obstacles, manages to win the throne, he sets about doing the difficult work needed to save Britain and the book ends.

So, when would Arthur REALLY need to return? Well, Arthur arrived when Britain had been nearly lost to the barbarians. “Arthur” is a very pro-nationalist story so far. Britain is for the British! Huzzah!

Hmmmm, now what group is threatening to destroy nationalism and end peace in Europe…

And then, Arthur would need to FIGHT. He’s have to deal with the modern geo-political landscape. There would be a lot involved after he became king, too, to keep order and establish his Kingdom of Summer.

I should keep all of this in mind…hmmmm…

…But I’m going to read Lawhead’s book anyway. He’s too good of a writer, and I’m enjoying myself too much, not to want to read through this series until I reach the happy ending.

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4 Responses to Thinking About Avalon

  1. Chad says:

    It made laugh to think Arthur would have to come back and that, in order to save the British, he’d have to defeat the current soft, PC regrime…. would he do that by first conquering France or Germany, to then conquer the isles, and finally set up an a new British monarchy? Could be fun…

    • As a satire, perhaps. But Lawhead is serious!

      Were I to write of Arthur’s return, as I may one day, it would take place after Britain has once again been overrun, or nearly overrun, and this time by an ACTUAL threat. Even if it’s not the actual Jihad, the threat certainly wouldn’t be anything as lame as “so the already figurehead monarchy is going to get voted out via valid democratic process”. Probably it would be invaders, the rest of the world is too weak or corrupt to help, and we have somebody, a modern Merlin, who wins renown as a warrior and makes the decision that Britain needs a strong leader, and so…

      Well, you get the idea (and that sounds a bit like the Pendragon series – but then again, Arthur is Arthur after all). It would be BIG.

      (As an aside, “Arthur” is my favorite so far. The series is an unbelievable achievement. Really remarkable. I’d love to see a “Game of Thrones” style portrayal on screen.)

  2. Chad says:

    I was thinking more of a “save the British from Themselves”. Not as the democratic type, but from British tyrants hurting their own people but too empowered by the corrupt military to be directly assailed. And, with the isles being too small, he’d be forced to start raising a force on the mainland of Europe. So he’d conquer a nearby area, start gaining good, virtuous soldiers, conquer France, and then the isles. Or the same type of thing, but the classic “conquer to prepare for the real assault” of a coming jihad or a new crusade to take the holy land for Britain.

    Anyway, I love Arthur and merlin. They have great archtypes and depth to really just play with good, enjoyable, and beautiful stories.

    • Ah, that would work excellently – and fits with some of the themes of the original tales. While Lawhead’s series is quite nationalist, “The Once and Future King” is more focused on getting all of the corrupt lords and barons taken down, and less concerned with outside forces. Both angles would work well for a modern take on the subject.

      I’ve always loved the Arthurian myths. It’s the human merged with the legend, the saintliness side by side with horrible moral failings, that really fascinates me. The stories are more logical than outright myth, but keep the mythic grandeur.

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