Let’s talk about the fact that in OUAT the sword is only to be released from the stone by a person true of heart.
Let’s talk about how in Boron’s Merlin Excalibur can only be pulled by the “true king” meaning a divine appointed king or heir. Yet in the Post-Vulgate Cycle the TRUE Excalibur is given to Arthur by Nimue, the Lady of the Lake.
From spoilers we know Excalibur is inscribed with Killian’s name on it. The sword can sense that Killian may be a true heir of Camelot but most of all a man who is TRUE OF HEART. His redemption arc has reached it’s pinnacle. He is no longer the man who wanted to kill the Dark One and everything he loved and would do it by any means necessary. Killian is now a man who still doesn’t believe he is a hero but is the true definition of one. He would lay his life on the line to help the Emma and her family, and he has time and time again. Every act he has done reuniting families, saving people and even admitting that he was a wrong for his actions are all aspects found in legend when it comes to a hero, a knight and even Arthur himself.
Killian has paid for the sins of this past and is now pure of heart. Excalibur sensed this and now has given him the right to be wielded by him.
In all Arthurian Legend Camelot is this great city ruled by Arthur and his devoted Queen Guinevere. Guinevere is very wise and very beautiful. She ruled with Arthur but it wasn’t until the discovery of her affair with Lancelot did Camelot crumble as well as the Round Table which came with her in her dowry.Her love for Arthur fueled his power, the bond between the knights and kept Camelot together. Guinevere loving another ruined it all. War broke out between the knights and Arthur ends up dying at the hand of Mordred during a battle.
Lets look at Emma and Killian for a moment. One would think that the darkness in Emma would have driven them apart but in fact it made Killian fight harder to save her. Emma enjoys being being dark at time and has admitted it but it hasn’t deterred Killian. In fact, the darkness DESTROYED nothing but STRENGTHENED their bond. Now there is visible proof of this on the sword with Killian’s name on Excalibur and Emma’s on the dagger end. Emma and Killian like the sword are unified. There is nothing that they can’t take on together. Snowing may share a heart but CS shares the most powerful weapon in the realms. Imagine what their love in the form of a sword is capable of.
Emma and Killian will be the leaders that Arthur and Guinevere could never be in the new Camelot that Arthur wanted to create. Captain Swan is everything an epic true love is meant to be. Strong, protective, magical, symbolic and now we have an ACTUAL physical representation in Excalibur.
Hector was so dismayed by this dream that he awoke in anger and then tossed and turned, unable to sleep. Sir Gawain, who could not sleep either, because his own dream had awakened him, heard Hector tossing about and asked, “Sir knight, are you asleep?" "No. An extraordinary dream has awakened me.”
Back home at last. And in possession of new books, which is always a bonus- one of which is “La Mort le Roi Artu” (“The Death of King Arthur”), and I went into transports of delight upon finding it in the shop.
It’s bloody heartbreaking though, worse even than Malory.
The Lake that she had plunged into with him when carrying him off was an enchanted lake; it was in the flat land below a hill much lower than the one on which King Ban had died. In the area where the Lake seemed to be broadest and deepest, the lady possessed several beautiful and splendid houses. Farther down in the valley flowed a stream teeming with fish. The whole estate was so hidden that no one could ever find it, for the apparent lake so masked it that it could not be seen.
Vulgate Lancelot, trans. Samuel N. Rosenberg and Carleton W. Carrol
The illusory lake will never not be hilarious to me, not least because of how bemused my undergrad adviser was when I told him about it. Easily my favorite Arthurian geographical feature.