Just saw King Arthur and the theater was practically EMPTY???!!? Wtf!??!!?!!! This movie was so good you guys, and it’s being torn apart by critics because the lore doesn’t 100% match? *screams frustrations into void* Guy Ritchie took a legend that has been told over and over again for what feels like forever (and let’s be real, it’s been retold so much cause it’s a damn good legend) and put his own unique twist on it.
Personally, I was not going into this movie expecting a word for word reenactment of Thomas Malory’s Le Morte D’Arthur or even T.H. White’s The Once and Future King. The trailer made it very clear that KA: LotS was going to have a different take on the story. And it was gooooood. Omg! This film was like if Lord of the Rings met Kingsman.
Here are some of my favorite things about King Arthur: Legend of the Sword.
• The war elephants were just as fantastic and terrifying as I wanted them to be and more!
• The AWE-INDUCING AF Lady of the Lake *heart-eyes*
• The absolutely mesmerizing Sirens (like holy fuck I couldn’t look away they were SO COOL)
• The BAD-ASS Boss-Lady Mage like HEEEELLLL YAAASSS
• Arthur growing up protecting/respecting women, not because he feels he’s a ~strong man~ who saves ~weak damsels~ and expects a reward for his actions but because he is genuinely sickened by men who disrespect women. Because he was raised by women and *gasp* sees them as *GASP!* people?? Revolutionary.
• NO. ROMANCE. I’M CRYING, TWO MOVIES IN A ROW WITH NO ROMANCE CAN I GET AN AMEN
• How the sword got stuck in the stone!!!! So cool, what a concept, I love it!
• The ANIMALS and the Mage working with nature and all the imagery and the SNAKES!!!
• I legit cried when the Round Table was revealed like holy shit yeessssss.
• Excalibur is a literal powerhouse and we finally get see what it can do!
• The acting was top notch! (Jude Law gave me chills as King Vortigern)
• The soundtrack fed my SOUL hell yes!!!! So good.
• The fight choreography, with an *appropriate* use of slow-mo, gave me life!
• The story telling!!! Like, yes Guy Ritchie’s way of telling the story of King Arthur is amazing but I’m talking about the particular way the *characters* told stories *in the movie* like w.h.o.a. So awesome!!
• The cinematography! I couldn’t go two seconds without coming across a shot that I NEED as my TV and Computer background.
• The special effects. Have I talked about the animals and the MAGE AND THE LADY OF THE LAKE AND THE SIRENS AND EXCALIBUR AND THE COLORS AAAAHHHHHHHH
• The story line. Honestly, screw the critics for giving this film a bad review just because it didn’t stick the legend. IT WASN’T SUPPOSED TO! They took the Legend of King Arthur and built off it to tell their own story and it was sooo gooodd!!
• The camera work!!! Omg the camera work!!! Hot damn.
————- I will say that I was disappointed in how the film fell into the trope of hurting and killing women as a means to motivate the male lead. That wasn’t cool. It has literally everything else going for it, but they tripped up here. This motivation device is used too often in all forms of media, and honestly I’m sick of it.
But! That was the only flaw I could find after one viewing, and the rest of the movie was phenomenal.
Please go see this movie!
Okay real quick! There’s something else about this movie that I LOVED SO MUCH but I’m not sure if it is considered a spoiler. It’s a bit more specific than the bullet points so to be safe, I’ve put it under the cut here.
arthur/the mage + "Winning was easy. Governing's harder."
“Why did you feast with those men?”
Her voice, cutting and direct, has him stumbling as he enters the hall. He looks up as soon as he catches himself, brows raising slightly as he takes in the hooded figure sitting at an edge of his round table.
It’s been four months. And not a word of the mage since then. No eagles. He sees only the bottom of her braid, the edge of her chin. Her fingertips are pressed on the flat of the table.
Slowly, he bites down on the rest of the apple in his mouth, pulling it away with an obnoxious crunch. “Mad you weren’t invited?”
“They care little for friendship,” she continues without acknowledging his statement. “Open coffers do not get respect.”
He walks until he stands next to her, leaning against the table and crossing one leg in front of the other. His brows raise. “So you’re a political adviser.”
She tilts her head back, the angle letting him see her face clearly. Her lips are tightly pressed, annoyed. “The sword must be used, wants to be used.” The fingers on the table begin to trace a small circle. “Defend your gates, or at the very least, leave them close to slavers.”
He leans forward. She stares at him, unimpressed.
“I’ve got a boat,” he states.
Her eyes narrow. “A boat.”
“Yeah,” he winks. “Big boat.”
She eyes him, waiting for a longer explanation. He rolls his shoulders, unable to resist (he suspects she knows that about him by this point).
“Turns out, I like keeping all 10,000 of my subjects in England.” He extends his hands, one of which is still holding the apple. “To do that, I’d only need about…” his eyes narrow. “A thousand boats.”
“And you have one.”
“That’s one more than I had before dinner.” He chomps down on the apple contemplatively.
Silence. The mage lets out a breath.
“It is the viking’s boat.”
Arthur can’t help himself. He winks. “More is won with wine.”
“The winning is easy.” The mage stands, walking the opposite way from him around the table. Her fingers dance over its polished surface, as if she’s seeing who will sit before it. What they will do. She stops at the missing quarter, looking up and removing her hood. “It is the governing that is hard.”
“…is that why you’ve come back?”
“I am here to guide you.” She meets his gaze. The edges of her eyes glow with the red of her powers. “You carry what is left of my kingdom in your hands. I will help you build yours with it.”
He tilts his head. She watches him calmly.
“Does this mean you’ve missed me?”
Her expression does not shift.
He bites the inside of his cheek. She is the only one with ties to the magic that rests in his lands, in his scabbard. There’s been an tentative friendship between them, a burgeoning camaraderie that makes him both uneasy and fearless.
Arthur rolls what’s left of the apple between his palms. “Tell me your name?”
Her touch falls from the wood.
Silence stretches, and he wonders if he’s been too forward– a strange sentiment for him.
“For now,” she whispers in an uncomfortable concession, “You may call me Emrys.”
“Emrys,” he tries out. Clearly a moniker, but he is a fan of those. He smiles, feeling it genuine, and gestures to one of the empty chairs. “You have a place at this table, for as long as you wish to have it.”
“…thank you.” The admission makes him turn to fully face her. She ignores him, pulling out a chair and situating herself within it. At his stare, she raises her gaze.
“Well?” She says flatly, near disinterested. “Bring me wine.”
The laugh escapes, from somewhere deep within his chest.
Arthur is highly observant of what is going on around him at all time. Nothing misses his gaze. Combined with his Fe to read people he often is the best at reading a room and one to gab to distract and confuse others. However, being a sensor he is more no-nonsense than he first appears. He is practical and pragmatic and doesn’t have ambitions to be a ruler nor be part of politics as some great philosopher. His Ti makes him very opportunistic, seeing what situations work to his advantage in the moment. His Ti is what makes him such a great strategist. He doesn’t care for the rules that society as established but his tertiary Fe gives him firm loyalties to those he has shared experiences with (Se), creating a tight-knit group of “brothers.” His story arc leads him to confront his inferior Ni, to question his life and the deeper meaning of it all. It also helps him see from others perspectives that have lived life differently from him.
The Mage: INTJ [The Mastermind]
The Mage is stoic in her appearance and behavior (Ni-Te). She makes decisions impersonally with her Te, seeing the chess board. She doesn’t have time to care how Arthur feels, and pushes him beyond his limits. She has a deep inner world of meaning that she keeps secret, not sharing anything behind her gaze (Ni). She does care for people as individuals and this is what drives her to help Arthur, the resistance, and her own kind (Fi). Despite making choices based on facts (Te) and not on the feelings of others (Fe), she is deeply emotional (Fi), but this is deep and her Ni-Te doesn’t see a need to share this inner feeling with anyone. Her inferior Se is what makes her seem so opposite of Arthur. She isn’t one to act on her feet and improvise. She isn’t one to act out in such reactionary ways. She doesn’t live in the moment and this lifestyle puzzles her. Hence, why she doesn’t have patience to waste on babying Arthur’s tendency to act and then learn from experience.
Vortigern: ENTJ [The Commander]
Yes, we have a leader villain ENTJ. Vortigern does believe in the law and societal rule. He believes heavily in the system (Te), but has his own ambition within it (Ni). He sees himself as the best ruler and doesn’t have time to deal with inheritance being the reason to rule. He is obviously unhealthy and refuses to use Ni to seem from other people’s perspective, spurring his Te dominance to make him a harsher ruler. He uses Se to support his Te as he is in a functional loop. Everything that goes wrong is the fault of others. His Se makes him too reactionary at times, hence why he doesn’t see that he creates the very Arthur that can conquer him. His inferior Fi is what makes him so hypocritical. His Te is used for his public persona. He is law abiding and murders magic users, despite being a magic user himself. This is his inferior Fi, his personal life is his own and not the business of the people. This is how he lives with his hypocritical nature. Public and private are two different things. One the business of others (Te) and one his and his alone to know (Fi).