Le Morte D’Arthur, book 1, part 25

So, I won’t say I had a great Easter, but I got to carry my bunny Lan Zhan around the house while chanting, “Easter bunny! Easter bunny!” (This is probably the sort of embarrassing thing I should not admit on the internet.)

(Also, the bunny I have is adorable, just wanted to share that fact)

Previously on Le Morte D’Arthur: Some king wants…Arthur’s beard for some reason?! Did I read that right? And also wants to have a war because of course! But we’re just going to ignore that for right now for this chapter, because we have to focus on Arthur doing something terrible instead. Yay!

Then King Arthur sent for all the noble children born on May Day, for Merlin told King Arthur that the one who would destroy him would be born on May Day. [Arthur noooo I don’t like where this is going]

[Why do you have to be THAT kind of mythological king? No one asked for an Agamemnon repeat. Literally no one.]

So he sent for all the children, upon pain of death, and many lords’ sons were found and all were sent unto the king. And Mordred was sent by King Lot’s wife, and all the children were put in a ship and put out to sea, and some were four weeks old, and some less. [So I guess Arthur wasn’t very careful about getting the birthdays of the kids right…? But people who do things like this rarely are.] And the ship drove unto a castle and was damaged and destroyed, but Mordred was cast up, and a good man found him and raised him until he was fifteen years old, and then he brought him to court, as it is told afterwards toward the end of the Death of Arthur. [Ah, good old-fashioned child murder.] [Seriously, WHY DO MYTHOLOGICAL KINGS ALWAYS JUMP TO MURDERING THEIR CHILDREN AS A FIRST RESORT. THAT SHOULD BE A LAST RESORT. THAT SHOULD NOT EVEN BE A RESORT. IT NEVER EVEN WORKS.]

[I shouldn’t have to say this, but Agamemnon was not a role model. Neither was Laius! Let’s not imitate these problematic people! Don’t attempt to kill your children.]

Many lords and barons of the realm were displeased, for their children were lost, though many put the blame on Merlin more than on Arthur; but for dread or for love, they held their peace. [this just in: infanticide controversial among most people!]

But when the message came to King Rience, then he was angered out of measure, and got together a great army, as it is told after in the book of Balin le Savage that follows after, about how by adventure Balin got his sword. [And also how Balin killed lots of people, and also something about a dolorous stroke, but we’ll get to all that later]

But yeah, um…I’ll admit Arthur isn’t my favorite character after he did this. But honestly, this moment is riddled with just…so many plot holes. He already knew Morgause’s son was the one the prophecy was about, didn’t he? Why did he have to go and kill a bunch of other kids?? I’m not missing something, am I?

So, sad as it is to say, I think we have to elevate (de-elevate? What’s the word for de-elevate?) Arthur into the ranks of Bad Mythological Dads. There were already too many of them as it was!

Anyway, I hope you guys had a good Easter, hopefully with lots of bunnies involved! (if you celebrate, of course. Though I still hope you had lots of bunnies involved in your day even if you don’t celebrate, because bunnies are amazing.)

Le Morte D’Arthur, book 1, part 17

I haven’t updated this series in a couple weeks oops. Oh well, I’m trying to get back on track. Wish me luck!

Oh, by the way, Arthur is having the worst week probably in the history of stories and also a wild Questing Beast appears.

Then, after the departing of King Ban and Bors, King Arthur rode unto Caerleon. And King Lot’s wife of Orkney came thither in manner of a message, but she was sent thither to spy at the court of King Arthur, [may I talk about how much I like that plotline] and she came richly beseen with her four sons, Gawain, Gaheris, Agravaine, and Gareth, [my boys yay] with many other knights and ladies. She was a passing fair lady, so the king cast great love unto her and desired to lie with her, so they were agreed, and he begat upon her Mordred; and she was his sister on the mother’s side, Igraine. [gross gross gross gross][Also, LITERALLY NONE OF THIS WOULD HAVE HAPPENED IF ECTOR OR MERLIN OR JUST sOmEoNe HAD TAKEN ARTHUR ASIDE AND TOLD HIM WHO HIS PARENTS WERE. You fail, every single person who knew about his parents.][Also ew gross why did medieval writers put this in here] So there she rested a month and at the last departed.

Then the king dreamed a marvelous dream whereof he was sore adread. But all the time, King Arthur knew not that King Lot’s wife was his sister. [Okay. So, I looked it up, and Merlin has told King Lot about Arthur’s parentage, hasn’t he? So apparently, we can add Lot to the list of people who have FAILED. Obviously not for failing to tell Arthur about his parents, but maybe just maybe his wife might have been interested in learning she had a brother?] [Oh wait, do you think ‘I’ve declared war on your brother’ was one of those awkward things he was hiding from her?]

This was the dream of Arthur: He thought griffons and serpents had come into this land. And he thought they burned and slew all the people in the land. And then he thought he fought with them, and they did him passing great harm and wounded him full sore, but at the last he slew them. When the king awoke, he was passing heavy-hearted because of his dream, and so to put it out of his thoughts, he made himself ready with many knights to ride out hunting.

As soon as he was in the forest, the king saw a great hart before him. ‘This hart will I chase,’ said King Arthur. And so he spurred the horse and rode after it for a long time. And so by sheer force often he was like to have smote the hart, and the king chased the hart so long that his horse lost his breath and fell down dead. [WHAT not again] [Also, I have no idea whether that’s the correct tense of smite. How I hate that word] [I mean, I love it, but I hate it] So the king saw the hart enbushed and his horse dead, and he sat down by a fountain, and there he fell in great thoughts. [They say fountain but I’m pretty sure it means a spring?]

And as he sat so he thought he heard a noise of hounds, to the sum of thirty. [A very specific sum but okay.] And with that the king saw coming toward him the strangest beast that he ever saw or heard of. So the beast went to the well and drank, and the noise in the beast’s belly was like unto the questing of thirty hounds. But while the beast drank, there was no noise in the beast’s belly, and therewith the beast departed with a great noise, whereof the king had great marvel. [The Questing Beast is so surreal] [There are various explanations for this thing in medieval literature, apparently; some writers had it where it was the offspring of some lady who tried to trick her brother into committing incest, apparently (source: three seconds on Wikipedia)] And so he was in a great thought, and therewith fell asleep. [I love how Arthur’s reaction to a supernatural monster is just to take a nap] [like is he me or something]

Right then came a knight on foot unto Arthur and said, ‘knight full of thought and sleepy, [okay I claim this for my title. From now on plz refer to me as Knight Full of Thought and Sleepy] tell me if you saw a strange beast passed this way.’

‘I saw such a beast,’ said King Arthur, ‘it has gone two miles. What would you want with the beast?’

‘Sir, I have followed that beast for a long time, and killed my horse. [I’m not even surprised anymore][Also, ‘killed my horse’ implies more action than I think happened, pretty sure the horse died of exhaustion for those who were worried] So would God I had another to follow my quest.’ Right so came one with the king’s horse, and when the knight saw the horse, he prayed the king to give him the horse. ‘For I have followed this quest this twelvemonth, and either I shall achieve him or bleed of the best blood of my body.’ Pellinore, that time king, followed the Questing Beast, and after his death Sir Palomides followed it. [Palomides!! :-D]

Incest yaaay, so that’s what this story was missing /s

I honestly have no idea how or why this plotline was put in here. I believe the incest first shows up in the Vulgate Cycle as far as I know? It’s an…odd note, to say the least. Oh well. It’s pretty much set in canon now, as much as Arthurian legend has a canon.

Jabbering About a Retelling | Language of Worlds Linkup

So, I turned eighteen this month. NO I WASN’T READY THANK YOU FOR ASKING, LIFE. But anyway, I figured it’d be a nice birthday present to myself to allow me to jabber about my novel here for a bit! Because I don’t think I’ve actually done that much on this blog. I’m just sort of private about my writing, which explains why I made a whole blog to document my writing process. But talking about my writing sort of motivates me, and I need motivation, because I have not been writing in this summer heat. Or doing anything much, tbh. I cannot wait for summer to be over.

Anyway, I discovered a writing linkup called Language of Worlds that gives out several questions for you to answer about your novel every two months, and I figured this was the perfect opportunity to talk about it!

The story is an Arthurian retelling from Mordred’s point of view, and it’s sort of hard to write and I’m not very far in yet, but I love writing it. Mordred has a pretty strong voice, I understand most of the characters, and I enjoy writing politics even though I’ll probably inevitably butcher it. Pro tip: If you want to write court politics, don’t sleep through history class like I did.

1. How long have you been writing this story?

HA HA HA THE QUESTION OF SHAME. Ahem. I think like a year, but I’ve been working pretty intermittently. I’ve been mostly outlining because I’ll put off the actual writing process for as long as I can and YOU CAN’T STOP ME

2. Who’s your favorite character? Why?

No! Don’t make me pick favorites!

Kidding, it’s Mordred. This has could change as I keep writing of course, but I do love the character. Parental issues are so fun to write, and boy does Mordred deliver on parental issues. And he’s a bit paranoid, highly intuitive, and very quiet, and also I gave him bad social skills and an insane sleep schedule so I could relate to him. (Almost all of my main characters have a bad sleep schedule so I can relate to them. I actually made a bad sleep schedule part of my magic system this time around because overkill I guess)

3. Which character do you consider the “goodest of the good”?

Uhh…So, I don’t tend to have a lot of really nice characters in general. I used to feel guilty about having so many antiheroes, especially since I had such a big cast, but then I realized that the characters in Arthurian legend are usually antiheroes. But Lancelot seems pretty sweet so far in my writing. Hopefully he stays that way.

4. Which character is the “baddest of the bad”?

Because they’re all brooding antiheroes and antiheroines, this is also a hard question to answer–who am I kidding, it’s probably Morgause. Just let me live in denial and pretend I did not make the mom the villain (feminism yay). Although I do feel like she’s a likable character if you forget the stuff she did in the backstory? Maybe? Am I delusional? probably

She’s not the main villain at all. I’ve noticed it’s kind of a thing in my writing where I won’t have a clearcut main villain. I have no idea why that is.

5. If you were to have tea (or coffee!) with one character, which one would you pick? Why?

…Probably Guinevere. Or Gareth, or Lancelot, or…Basically, probably one of my chiller characters. Now, I wouldn’t call Guinevere actually chill, but she acts chill, at least.

6. Describe your storyworld.

England, a bit of a mix of time periods, but mostly 12th century because I loved Chretien de Troyes’ stories, Camelot, castles, lots of greenery I think.

7. You’ve fallen into your book! Which place would you be happiest at?

*intense panicking* Just anywhere away from the center of action, please, I do not want to die, but knowing me I always get pushed into the center of action. At least until I decide that I’m out and then lock myself in my room.

Somerset is lovely and I want to go to Somerset irl tho

8. Which place would you like to avoid at all costs? (Or, explore to know its secrets a little bit better?)

Eh, I don’t really care. There are some people I might want to avoid.

9. Share an aesthetic!

So, I don’t know the copyright laws about posting photos that aren’t yours, and I’m a smol moth who doesn’t want to fall afoul of copyright laws and is possibly overthinking this whole thing, but I have a Pinterest board so

10. Share a snippet!

So I have no idea what to put here. But how about this one:

It was just a bad dream. I swayed on my feet, the adrenaline dead and the exhaustion back full force. “I can’t…stand up,” I slurred. Father started toward me. For a moment I saw him like I saw him in my dreams, a bloody king with spear in hand. Bloody just like the house. But then he turned into Mother. “You were right,” I told her. “If I couldn’t stand up, I shouldn’t have tried to ride a horse.” She walked toward me slowly, her eyebrows knitted together in confusion. That was odd. I thought she lifted an eyebrow when she got confused or surprised.

Now I’m panicking and wondering if maybe that was the worst passage I could have possibly shared, but I know it’s not the worst passage I could have possibly shared because there is a LOT of bad writing in this baby draft and I love it.

For some context I…I feel like it’s sort of hard to give context on this, but that’s just because I’m bad at giving context. But basically Mordred a) tends to think he can do things when he’s sick or injured and it doesn’t always work out, and b) Mordred so far is spending most of this book out of it and seeing things. It’s fun (for me).

This is such an awful, awful book and I LOVE IT. I do want to start writing again. I love writing something stupid and trashy. I love this book. I think I am motivated. So mission = accomplished (it’s only really accomplished if I write, though, so we’ll see how it goes on that front).