Thursday, January 13, 2011

Some More Thoughts on "Camelot"

The more I think about the trailer for Starz's upcoming new show "Camelot," which I included in my last blog entry, the more I think about how well-thought-out some of the stuff depicted in the story is.

Firstly, Arthur's speech about how he will rule for the sake of the people.  One could argue this is some anachronistic proto-democratic attitude intended to create a more sympathetic protagonist (realism be damned), but there is another part of the trailer depicting Morgan dismissing Arthur as being "from common clay" and not from royalty.

If Morgan, despite being a woman, has the support of much of the nobility, Arthur appealing to the common people of the land makes sense.  The Byzantine emperors tended to support the peasantry against the aristocracy to keep the aristocrats from threatening the monarchy, even though the Byzantine Empire was a divine-right dictatorship.

Secondly, Morgan is depicted as being publicly Christian, wearing lots of crosses on her clothes.  Although she was raised in the royal court and is probably more politically savvy and well-connected than Arthur, the fact that she is a woman in a patriarchal pre-modern society makes her position somewhat weaker than if she were a man.  Public religiosity would make her more popular, especially with the commoners, and strengthen her political position.

Thirdly, Morgan is also depicted as getting freaky with someone, although I don't know enough about the supporting cast to make a judgment as to who it is.  If it isn't Arthur himself (the whole incest-to-produce-Mordred aspect of the story), it might be one of her noble supporters.  Her position as a successor to Uther Pendragon would be strengthened if she had a powerful consort.

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