King Arthur Freewrite
“A Sword Makes a King.”
When comparing Malory’s tales of King Arthur and his Knights with the works of J.R.R. Tolkien, similarities abound. Because of my fascination with medieval weapons, I am immediately drawn to the tale of “The Sword in the Stone.” Here, Malory (Merlin) anoints Arthur as “...Rightwise King, born of all England...” because he was able to draw the sword from the stone. This theme is also present in The Lord of the Rings, as we see Aragorn decide to march to Mordor with the Fellowship. When he makes this decision, we see Narsil reforged into Anduril, thus marking Aragorn as returning to his rightful place on the throne of Gondor. Why were objects, weapons especially, used to symbolize kingship, royalty, or status in the medieval ages? Of course, there is the answer that war was prevalent in those days, and a man’s character could often (and was often) measured by his skill and prowess on the battlefield. So often, (especially in Fantasy literature) a great king or hero coming into their power is marked by the receipt or finding of a marvelous or mythic weapon.