The King of the Round Table has captured our fancy and made us fans of the Arthurian legends for centuries. King Arthur’s existence is still debated but his popularity is still certain. I may not be a fan of his wife but I love Excalibur’s wielder. I’m always interested in new adaptations and stories. There have been quite a number of television shows and movies featuring Camelot’s King. Here are some of my favorites for you to check out.
1. Clive Owen, King Arthur
Clive’s version of Arthur gets back to the roots of Arthur being an historic figure who defended England against the Saxons. His version of Arthur is very believable. You see him more as a soldier than a king in this movie. This version of Arthur really tickled my history-loving fancy.
2. Bradley James, Merlin
I like Bradley’s Arthur because he starts out as bit of putz, then grows up to be the king we admire. He was brought up to hate magic and we get to see how he deals with the issue as the story progresses. Arthur’s bromance with Merlin was one the highlights of the series. It let us see the playful side of Arthur.
3. Nigel Terry, Excalibur
Terry’s role as Arthur was my first exposure to the legend. I enjoyed how he portrayed the Arthur as the fresh-faced king and later as the battle-weary monarch. Terry’s Arthur was vibrant and had the true bearing of the legendary king. Who can forget the scene where he hurls down Excalibur when he sees Lancelot and Guinevere in a tryst?
4. Graham Chapman, Monty Python and the Holy Grail
You can’t always have a serious adaptation. Chapman’s bumbling Arthur is funny and full of goofs. Noble Arthur manages to maintain great dignity as he travels the land with this coconut shells. Chapman is so serious as Arthur but it makes his role even more hilarious.
5. Jamie Campbell Bower, Camelot
I wish this show had lasted longer to see Jamie’s Arthur really grow into his crown. He did a good job portraying a young man who learns he is the one true king of England. That would be a shock to anyone. He matures as the show goes along and learns how to be a good ruler — until the show was canceled.
Feel free to share your favorite King Arthur adaptations in the comments!