Monday, September 21, 2015

Modernizing Arthurian Legend

With all the different takes on Arthurian legend in modern media, I'm surprised adapting the legend to a modern or futuristic setting isn't more popular.  Plenty of stories with more modern settings have Arthurian themes, but not really proper adaptations of the legends.

All the standard takes on Arthurian legend that define it for modern readers are done in a more (then) modern setting then the 5th/6th century setting of the original Welsh poems and the history that Arthur would have lived in.  The Grail romances are based on the world of the Crusades, and Malory's tale I've read before was largely done with the War of the Roses in mind (making it the Game of Thrones or Final Fantasy Tactics of it's time).

Of course admittedly those were not completely contemporary stories, there is still a sense of an age gone by in them.  Not unlike how people today often call the Second World War the "Greatest Generation".

Then it hit me as I was thinking of that, why not a version of Arthurian legend that is a Diesel Punk alternate history version of WWII.?  And it can draw inspiration from Indiana Jones type movies with the Nazis seeking the Holy Grail and the Ark and other relics, but I'd go with the theory of the Ark being in Ethiopia, and the Grail more directly modeled after the old Grail romances.  (Update, and you could maybe now take inspiration from the Anime Izetta The Last Witch).

I've created a list of Arthurian characters with roles they could play in this setting.  In order to make this work I had to ignore the Pacific Theater, this is focused on Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

Also in this alternate History the European Revolutions never removed any Monarchs, but did create Constitutional Monarchies.  And this can be viewed as an Alternate History where George Washington did become the First King of America.. His heir married the Daughter of the Stuart pretender Bonnie Prince Charlie.

King Arthur = King George VI of England (Arthur did happen to be part of his full name)
Anna = Mary Princess Royal
Igerne = Mary of Teck
Gwenivere = Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon
Soredamore =  Princess Elizabeth Alexandra Mary
Tortolina = Princess Margaret
Loth = Henry Lascelles, 6th Earl of Harewood
Aurelius Ambrosious = Winston Churchill
Emrys = Prince George Duke of Kent, Grand Master of United Grand Lodge of English Freemasonry
Mordred = Edward VIII
Morgause = Wallie Simpson
Prince Madoc = Prince Henry Duke of Gloucester
King Feirefiz of Zazamanc = Emperor Halie Selassie of Ethiopia
Beowulf = King of Denmark
Emperor Alexander = King of Greece
Prince Alexander =  Prince Philip
Cliges = Prince Charles
Merlin = Aleister Crowley

Heignst and Horsa = Hitler and Himler
Lucius Tiberius = Benito Mussolini

Characters Without (solid) real life analogues

Sir Kay, Gawain and Bedivere = British Spies
Sir Ector = Their handler
Palamedes = Codename of an Arab who spies for the OSS
Blanchefleur = A spy for the French Resistance
Gurnumanz = A spy for the French Resistance
King Pellam = King of America
Pellinore = Duke of York
Percival = Son of Pellinore and an OSS operative
Dindrane = Daughter of Pellinoe and OSS operative
Pellas = Firstborn son of Pellam
Garlon = Younger son of Pellam
Morgan Le Fey = Sister of King Pellam
Elaine = Daughter and only child of Pellas
Bohort = King in exile of France
Ban = Duke de Orleans
Lancelot = Only legitimate son of Ban, serves in the French Resistance
Hector = An illegitimate son of Ban and a British woman
Bors = Firstborn son of Bohort
Lionel = Son of Bohort
Vivian = Wife of Ban and Mother of Lancelot
Evaine = Wife of Bohort and Mother of Bors and Lionel
Titurel = Jewish Exilarch, over 100 years old
Firmutel = Son of Titurel
Anfortas/Boaz = Son of Titurel
Sigune = Alias of the niece of Anfortas, spies for him against The Nazis
Herzeloyd = Daughter of Firmutel and mother of Percival and Dindrane
Heliabel aka Repanse de Schoye = Daughter of Firmutel, mother of Elaine
Budicus = Duke of Brittany
Hoel = Son of Budics
Iseult = Princess of Ireland
Mark = Duke of Cornwall
Tristam = American OSS operative
Blanchmains =  Daughter of Hoel, Mother of Vivian and Evaine
Galahad = Symbolic representation of the Baby Boom

Claudas = Governor of Nazi occupied France

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