Monday, September 1, 2014

Arthur & Guinevere - A Reclusive Love Story

One of the things about the Arthurian story that wasn't really covered in the source material is the early relationship between Arthur and Guinevere.  Obviously, there's loads of stuff describing the romance of Guinevere and Lancelot, but Arthur is a different story.  

Oddly, the Arthurian tale is one of those rare stories where the adultery of Guinevere tends to be forgiven by the reader, or at the very least, not judged too harshly.  She can't help the fact that her heart wants Lancelot, and she's consumed with guilt over any betrayal to her husband - the most beloved King in history, and Lancelot's best friend.  In most other stories, we'd side with Arthur on this breach of trust and secret infidelity, giving him our sympathy, and decrying Guinevere and Lancelot as the bad guys for carrying out their secret affair.  

And yet, when it comes to this story, we tend to side with all three of them.  They're each a victim of the heart, and each is a tragic character, governed by feelings beyond their control.

Because of this fascinating dynamic, it's important to develop these characters right, and that needs to start with Arthur and Guinevere in their younger days, before Lancelot shows up.

In truth, it's always been a sadness of mine that the romance between Art and Gwen has rarely been developed.  Usually, by the time we get into any given Arthurian tale, the two are already long married, and ready for Lancelot's chiseled jaw to walk in the front door.
In the case of our adaptation, we wanted to show what comes before all that.  We wanted Arthur and Guinevere to meet.  We want to show them fall in love, and everything that comes with that.  We didn't want to cheat these two young kids out of their long-overdue romance, so in The Pendragon Armada, we're going to give them the chance to fall for one another.  No political marriage, no claiming of a bride after the strong warrior has saved her from certain doom, and no two-dimensional Princess who just throws herself at the hottest guy at the round table.

I'm fully prepared to be hurt right along with these three when Lancelot shows up in the story, but we want Arthur and Guinevere to have their time together before that happens.

And all that comes with that.

Oh we go.

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